This week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party, and on Thursday night, she accepted the nomination — a historic moment for women and girls, but also, as she noted in her speech, for men and boys. By Clinton's estimation, all boats rise with the tide. And she's right.
Of course, it's an enormous and important step for women, and the moment wasn't lost on those with tears in their eyes, hugging each other over the momentous occasion. It wasn't lost on the young girls on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philly who will never know the same challenges but, because of this gigantic leap towards fairness, will be equipped to face bigger and more consequential ones.
Clinton shared the benefits of the moment in her historic speech before the DNC:
Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President. Standing here as my mother's daughter, and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come. Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. Happy for boys and men, too — because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit.
Here's the footage.
For Clinton, this isn't a new idea. And in 1995, when she coined the phrase "women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights" at the fourth U.N. Women's Conference, the shockingly obvious statement was a new concept to a lot of people — "radical," even, according to Bill Clinton.
The then-First Lady boldly insisted:
It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution for human greed — and the kinds of reasons that are used to justify this practice should no longer be tolerated. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire, and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small.
Besides the fact that it's barely believable that the things she listed were ever, and in some places still are, a question, Hillary Clinton is measurably correct to conclude that a win for women's rights is a win for all people.
Equality makes countries more prosperous and efficient for everyone, and not just because of the ethical implications. According to stats compiled by the United Nations, gender equality in education and employment is essential to growing and sustaining local and, thereby, global economies alike. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute, a non-partisan research group, predicts that if women were treated equally in terms of education and employment it would contribute an estimated $12 trillion to the global economy by the year 2025.