At The Democratic Debate, Women And Children First

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Melanie G. Long, The College of Wooster

The last two democratic presidential debates featured no questions about the gender pay gap, paid parental leave or other economic issues that disproportionately affect women and children.

So in the Atlanta debate on Nov. 20 – featuring an all-women moderator panel and four female candidates – I was heartened to see that some of these topics got a bit more attention.

As an economist who studies inequality and household economics, I believe issues like these, which so fundamentally affect family outcomes, should be at the heart of our national conversation.

Here’s a glimpse at how the candidates’ discussion of economic policy engaged with gender, both directly and indirectly, during the debate.

Support for paid family leave

Few candidates have highlighted their policies on gender equity unprompted by moderators in the debates so far, and this debate was no exception.

Moderator Ashley Parker asked about parental leave and public child care, directing her first question on the topic to one of the five men on the stage, entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

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