Hillary Clinton urged Americans to defend democratic freedoms and fight for women’s equality in a deeply personal concession speech.
The first female Presidential candidate said representing the Democrats was “one of the greatest honours of my life”.
Speaking directly to the women who supported her, on a day when the US elected a man who boasted of sexual assault, she said: “I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will, and hopefully sooner than we think right now.
“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
Nevertheless, the woman who was favourite to be President on polling day, acknowledged her disappointment: “This is painful and it will be for some time.”
Hillary Clinton has a message to all the little girls: pic.twitter.com/wOnO4ZQUun
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 9, 2016
Clinton said she had congratulated Donald Trump, the Republican President-Elect, and offered to work with him on behalf of the country.
She asked the public to accept the result of the election, in line with the constitution.
But she also called on them to remember the other parts of the constitution, like freedom of worship and expression: “We respect these values too, and we must defend them.”
Throughout her speech, Clinton thanked her campaign team and encouraged them to stay active throughout the coming four years.
Addressing the younger people watching, she said: “I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks, sometimes very painful ones…
“You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it.”
Exit polls analysed by FiveThirtyEight suggested Clinton led female voters by 12 points, while Trump led men by the same margin.
Clinton also won the popular vote nationwide, but lost to Trump on electoral colleges, the first candidate to do so since Al Gore in the 2000 election.