Hillary Clinton says ‘there is no question’ she has ‘never been more worried about the safety of women’
The Democratic presidential candidate has called for women to have the same rights as men when it comes to the protection of their bodily integrity.
She said women should be able to access contraception, and she said that, should they choose, they should be allowed to have abortions.
But she also acknowledged the need to protect women from predators, which is why she wants to have an “expedited investigation” into reports of sexual assault in the armed forces.
In her first major policy speech since becoming the first female US president, Mrs Clinton also outlined her vision for improving the lives of the country’s struggling middle class.
“There is no doubt that for too many Americans, working hard to get ahead, there is still no real path to middle class success,” she said.
Mrs Clinton has faced criticism for her past comments on women, such as her comment in 2016 that she wished she could have had sex with Bill Clinton, because she felt he was “the alpha dog”.
She has repeatedly defended her comments, saying they were made “without malice” and “out of respect”.
“My words and my actions were never meant to imply that women cannot achieve their full potential, nor do they deserve to have to live in the same circumstances as men do,” she told the annual Clinton Global Initiative event.
However, she said her comments in 2016 were “a reflection of my own journey as a woman”.
“My journey as an American woman, my journey as someone who was born into privilege, and the journey I made as a young, ambitious woman to be the first woman in the world to run for president,” she added.
The speech is also likely to put her in conflict with some Republicans, who have accused her of being too lenient on women who have been victims of sexual violence, and of having a soft touch on victims of domestic abuse.
Mr Trump, however, has repeatedly accused Mrs Clinton of pandering to the feminist agenda and is calling for an investigation into her use of private email and her decision to not release her tax returns.
A poll released on Friday by Quinnipiac University found that 51 per cent of Americans said Mrs Clinton should not be president.