A Trump supporter celebrates his victory.
Image: © Paul Miller AAP/PA Images

How will Trump’s presidency affect women’s lives in America? We went to DC and asked them

We ask women about how Trump's policies on health, jobs and social security might affect them

When Donald Trump was elected president, it came as a surprise to many that a candidate who famously bragged about grabbing women's genitals and said he'd date his daughter if he could still won 42% of the female vote.

Yet to many American women, his ideas and plans for America – for the economy, among other things  – and the impact they could have on their families lives were more important than his comments on gender. But what if the two weren't as separate as you might think?

Trump-supporter
Interviewing Trump supporters on the eastern seaboard

Jobs, jobs, jobs

So leaving his statements on gender aside, what’s the economic impact of Trump’s policies likely to be for women in America?

The short answer: depends what class you’re in, and what kind of life you lead. The new president promises to negotiate deals with companies to keep jobs on US soil, deport the immigrants now holding millions of low-skilled jobs, and put tariffs on imports to protect industries at home. The impact of all these measures on employment could directly impact the jobs available to women workers individually or to the households they live in.

But on the other hand all these measures could also make goods more expensive. So they may well be earning more money, but they could also be spending more money.

women-are-the-wall
Banners from this Saturday's March on Washington

"My day-to-day will be affected..."

He has also promised tax relief for the middle class and new tax deductions for caring for children and the elderly, which should help ease the burden of care that falls more heavily on women.

That said, this tax relief could be financed by cuts in spending on social welfare programs that – in a country where 1 in 3 women live in or on the brink of poverty and two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women – would almost certainly hurt women much more than men.

Even for those who like Trump’s out of the ordinary approach – "I just felt like we had a fresh start, and he's such a businessman” – said one waitress at a Texan barbecue restaurant – this concern of what his policies will mean for women dealing with care responsibilities is a very real one. When asked how her view of the president might be different if she had children, she acknowledged, "Well, I would be worried."

For two retired sisters from Delaware, the social welfare cuts could have a real impact. "My personal day to day will be affected if he were to change social security [retirement support and other social welfare programs]. Other than that, whatever they do with the tax code [will affect us too]," one told us, with her sister nodding in agreement.

Many think his other policies could also impact women's economic well-being less directly by, for example, taking away their access to affordable health insurance or reproductive care or preventing them from controlling the size of their families.

For many women and their families the situation is already difficult. "[Obamacare] would have cost us over $3,000 monthly," a Trump voter told us. "What we're now paying is through the company we were with, it's $1,700, but we can only be on that for 18 months." Trump is planning on stripping back state support for health care even further – a potential disaster to women like her, for whom even Obamacare was far too expensive.

Kamala Harris on the problems of separating women's issues from other issues

"How we are viewed as people impacts our choices"

However they felt about the new president, in general women we spoke to seemed to agree that their economic futures were uncertain.  “I just hope the President will do what is best for the United States and not just white millionaires,” said the woman from Delaware.

"Existing as a person of color and also as a woman, all these social issues are intrinsically tied to the economy," said Anissa, who came from North Carolina to march in her first Washington protest.

"How we are viewed as people and respected as human beings impacts our economic choices and options and that's not something that I necessarily see President Trump considering. Jobs are important, but also our identity as people is tied to that."

March-on-Washington-2
Shady Grove Metro Station, 9am on Saturday

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Reader Comments

  • ClawV23

    So they’re more or less becoming homeless on purpose and taking advantage of people’s kindness? That’s very disappointing, I’ve always imagined myself walking on the path of the monk but my idea of a modern monk was to achieve a level of independence at which I can grow my own food on a piece of land I own, make my own hemp clothes and live in a small log cabin somewhere outside civilization instead of begging people for a bowl of food.