Hillary Clinton Pledges To Have A Cabinet With An Even Gender Split

Published April 26, 2016
Updated February 9, 2018

Hillary Clinton has a (sadly) radical idea for her cabinet, if elected: Fill at least half of it with women. Yesterday, at a town hall event in Philadelphia (watch an excerpt above), host Rachel Maddow asked the Democratic presidential hopeful whether she would make the same pledge as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who vowed that half of his cabinet would be women.

Clinton said that she would, adding, “Well, I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?”

Historically, cabinet appointments have been extraordinarily gender-biased: Across 44 presidents and hundreds of cabinet members, just 30 have been female.

If Clinton wants a cabinet that looks more like America, she’ll also have to work on race: There have only been 20 African-American cabinet members in U.S. history.

The proportion of both female and African-American cabinet members has risen dramatically since the beginning of the Bill Clinton presidency in 1993.

However, as Clinton noted at yesterday’s town hall, when speaking about women in government, “We have made progress but we are still a long way from where we need to be.”

Indeed, if Clinton is going to get us where we need to be and truly create a cabinet that looks like America, she unfortunately has a tide of history to fight against.

Next, learn about six inspiring female Nobel Prize winners and four female civil rights leaders you didn’t learn about in school. Then, take a revealing look at the life of a twenty-something Hillary Clinton.

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