We’re committed to nonpartisanship because we want The Women’s Debate conversation to be about women’s issues—all women’s issues. And yet we often receive criticism as being partisan because we talk about women’s issues. As the political repercussions of recent news plays out over the next 30 days, we will remain focused on women’s issues that have been ignored in this election. Women and girls disproportionately experience sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse—every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men, and yet two-thirds of American women are either the primary or co-breadwinners of their families. Among industrialized nations, the US has the highest risk of women dying in childbirth, has the highest rates of preterm births, first-day infant death, infant death before the age of one, and teen pregnancy. Politicized debate about women’s health and choices, their participation in and contributions to the economy, and the roots of a gender-based violent culture have resulted in real-time, real-life damage to women and the girls who will become our future leaders. Women’s issues are issues that acutely and disproportionately affect women, but whose solutions can benefit society as whole. Women’s issues deserve to be acknowledged, discussed, and have real policy proposals offered on a national debate stage. We hope the recent revelations make tonight’s debate the appropriate forum to do so. 

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