The United States has always been in the limelight of world politics. It is no wonder that the whole world watched the 2020 U.S. elections as it was evident that there was something about these elections that was going to tip the scales. And tip the scales it did!
The election brought us a record number of females in the Congress and the first female Vice-President, the United States, has ever had. This article highlights the women who have performed such a mean feat by getting elected or re-elected into power.
One hundred years after women got the right to vote in America and after 45 Vice Presidents, the U.S. has finally elected her first female Vice-President. Like Neil Armstrong’s statement, after he landed on the moon, Kamala’s win might be one small step for her but a giant leap for women worldwide. Kamala is making history as the first female, the first African-American, and the first South Asian-American to become Vice-President of the United States.
As early as 13, Kamala had begun stamping her name in the sands of time and standing up for what she believed in. She and her sister, Maya, successfully organized a protest against the owner of their apartment building, who would not let them and other children play on the lawn. Long after, as a state senator, Kamala Harris advocated to “raise wages for working people, make healthcare a right for all Americans, and expanding access to childcare for working parents in California.”
Senator Kamala Harris first announced that she was running for president early in 2019 before teaming up with Joe Biden as his VP in August 2019. Since then, she’s campaigned side-by-side with him while the world watched with bated breaths to see if she would make history. And she sure did!
Congratulations, Senator Kamala Harris, on being Vice President-Elect of the United States of America!
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s story is pretty well-known. People say that she’s “unlike anyone who has served in the Congress.” She spent her early years in Mogadishu, Somalia. She later had to flee Somalia with her parents to Kenya, where they lived as refugees until they finally secured asylum in the United States.
Ilhan’s Send Her Back to Congress campaign was so successful that she won 64.5% of the votes in District 5. Inspired by her grandfather to get into politics, Rep. Omar was elected in 2016 as the Minnesota House Representative for District 60B. Her political career has been remarkable as she’s bagged so many firsts since she forayed into politics. She is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress (the other being Rashida Tlaib), the first woman of color, and the first Somali-American to represent Minnesota in the United States Congress.
Though rife with harassment and threats, Ilhan’s political career has been nothing short of exceptional as she’s been resolute in her fight for everyone, including the poor, marginalized, working-class, immigrants, and people of color.
Well done, Rep. Ilhan Omar, on your re-election to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)
Born in the Bronx to a father who ran a small business and a mother who was a house cleaner and bus-driver, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez grew up to have a pretty remarkable and formidable career as a politician. Elected into office in November 2018, when she was just 29 years old, AOC became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.
However, her career in politics did not begin in the United States’ Congress, Alexandra was one of the Organisers for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 bid, and she did a great job.
Alexandra identifies as a Democratic Socialist— she believes that “both the economy and society should run democratically—to meet public needs not to make profits for a few.” This has guided her so far in her career. Since she was first elected, AOC has been working to advocate for criminal-justice reforms, medical care for all, universal jobs, and immigration. She also has fought hard against racial injustice, misogyny, and homophobia.
AOC has also proven that she can stand up to bullies with the speech she gave addressing Florida Republican Ted Yoho, after he had stuck his finger in her face, calling her names such as “disgusting” and “crazy.”
Not only has she done well in her race, but she has also inspired other women to seek seats in power where their voices can be heard, and they can make an impact.
Congratulations, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, on being re-elected as the representative for New York District 14!
Women in U.S. politics — Kamala, Ilhan, Alexandra, and numerous other women elected in the 2020 U.S. elections — prove that women’s role in politics and leadership is as essential as ever. For too long, the world has carried on with only a select few being represented in seats of power, but this narrative is changing, one woman in power at a time.