How Do Other 2016 Presidential Candidates Feel About Women’s Issues?

How Do Other 2016 Presidential Candidates Feel About Women’s Issues?

Three weeks ago, we posted an article on how some of the biggest contenders for the presidential nomination stacked up when it came to women’s rights, and we did the same last week. Of course, there’s more to be said about some of the not-so-popular names running for their party’s nomination, so let’s get right on it!


Lindsey Graham

  • You can track South Carolina Senator Graham’s voting record in Congress through org, which tracks all of the decisions made by representatives throughout the United States. For example, Graham voted against the 2010 Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have authorized the Secretary of Labor to secure grants for programs to teach women about workplace wage negotiation skills. The act would have also pushed employers to pay compensation for dismissed workers if found discriminating based on gender.
  • In more recent years, Graham voted against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The act expanded the definition of domestic violence to include crimes incurred against a current or former partner, and allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to aid survivors of sexual assault and harassment. However, Obama signed this into public legislation.
  • Graham, however, shows his opinion regarding survivors of sexual assault in this video concerning the problem of sexual assault in the military. According to him, women who serve are “putting up with way too much crap,” and continued by saying, “when a victim comes forward, they should have an advocate to walk them through the military justice system.”


Marco Rubio

  • In conjunction with 22 other Senators, Rubio introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, which sought to defend the right of religiously affiliated schools and hospitals to deny access to sterilization and other contraceptives, believing that these contraceptives are able to induce abortions.
  • Rubio implied that science is on the side of pro-life politicians when changing the topic from his views on climate change. Scientists fired back by saying that “legislators, regrettably, often propose new laws or regulations for political or other reasons unrelated to the scientific evidence and counter to the health care needs of patients.”
  • He came under fire in 2013 for voting against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, like his fellow Republican, Graham. In a statement, Rubio said that he specifically supported certain ideas in the act, but could not condone the diversion of funding to domestic violence from sex trafficking, which he is an outspoken advocate against.


Jill Stein

  • Stein previously ran for the 2012 presidential election with the Green Party, and continues to do so for the 2016 election. She’s shared many strong, decisive opinions on where women stand in society, including this stunning quote: “’Religious Freedom’ is surrogate for patriarchal domination.”
  • In the same interview with, Stein shared her fears of discrimination in the workplace for LGBTQ individuals, citing two shocking statistics: 28 states have yet to enable anti-discriminatory LGBTQ measures in the workplace, and suicide rates are four times as high for LGBTQ youth compared to heterosexual/cisgender youth.
  • She stands with the Green Party when it comes to radical feminism and advocacy for transgender rights, and even says that the perceived liberal Democratic Party doesn’t do enough to advocate for equality. “The democrats may appear to be more sympathetic, but they haven’t done the job when they could have,” she explains in an interview with Refinery29.


Rick Santorum

  • Unfortunately, when Googling “Rick Santorum on women,” the first result that pops up is “The 7 Worst Things Rick Santorum Has Said About Women.” Number six shows that Santorum claimed single mothers raised more criminals, going as far to say that “children having children is destroying the fabric of our country.”
  • Going further with unmarried mothers, Santorum writes in his book, “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good,” that “the notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong.” Higher education may certainly cost a lot nowadays, but there should be no denial that it’s certainly an effective way for individuals to get better job training and access to more jobs.
  • Santorum also made controversial comments in 2012 regarding the place of women in the military when it comes to frontline combat. He’s concerned that women may be too emotional in the middle of battle, compromising the security of their military counterparts. He attempted to clarify this by saying that “when you have men and women together in combat, I think there’s, men have emotions when you see a woman in harm’s way.”


Again, there are an incredible number of presidential candidates out there, and only so much we can write about how they stand on all types of social and economic issues. Hopefully, you’re feeling a little inspired to keep on reading and researching about who you could vote for in the party primaries and eventually, the election!

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.