Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton is a serious setback for women worldwide.

In his November 9 victory speech to claim the US presidency, Donald Trump said it was time to “bind the wound of division” in America. But mollifying words now cannot undo the Republican’s hostile comments made over the past 18 months, which vilified anyone considered to be “other” – and women, perhaps, most of all.

Donald Trump’s platform has been fuelled by hatred of those who are different from him, both inside and outside of the United States. The divisive Trump campaign exposed the full extent of the racial, ethnic and gender fissures in American society for all the world to see.

Were they always there? Yes – but they could have been mended with equality and inclusion. Instead they have been torn wide open.

Donald Trump's platform was feulled by hatred. (Image Getty)

Muddled policy and Islamophobia.

As a result, any attempts by Trump (and, by consequence, the US) to upholding or imposing human rights and gender equality beyond American shores, and particularly any finger-pointing, will now not only fall on deaf ears but could also backfire.

Trump’s Middle East policy is isolationist but not entirely clear. The president-elect’s unpredictability alone is reason for fear, but his favour for closed borders to Syria and clear anti-Muslim sentiment are explicit and worrisome, both inside and outside the US.

The glass ceiling remains in tact. (Image via Carlos Barria/Reuters) [/img_caption]

What do we tell young girls about the America we tried to build, and the America the world will now face? Is this the end of the global landmark Roe vs Wade abortion decision, Planned Parenthood funding, bodily integrity and protection of sexual rights and marital equality?

Accusations of sexual assault at the hands of Donald Trump abound. When such a man becomes president, it leaves little hope that the women who have come forward will ever see any form of support. The message is simple: you can brag about sexually assaulting women and it will not affect your career. In fact, it could very well propel you into the presidency.


These are the ingredients that fuel rape culture and allow cases like that of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to proliferate in the US. They serve as an example to condone such abuses abroad.

Hear Mia Freedman, Rosie Waterland, Jessie Stephens and others debriefing about the US election on a special Mamamia Out Loud bonus episode, here:

Trump could also close doors to much-needed international aid. The US is a critical donor to the United Nations’refugee agency in an era with massive war-spurred displacement and migration. Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the UN and similar institutions. His lack of support for key international institutions risks undermining the Sustainable Development Goals and other global compacts.

Again, all of this would hit women hardest.

In Clinton’s concession speech, she told her supporters, “Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it”. Yet Trump supporters chanted, “Lock her up”.

The glass ceiling Clinton tried to crack has now been reinforced; it is stronger than ever.

This article originally appeared on The Conversation and has been republished with permission.