Here’s how women made history in Election 2016

Kamala Harris (public domain)

While the number of women in the U.S. Congress is not expected to change significantlyonce all the votes are counted from last month’s election, several women will make history by joining that body. The U.S. Senate will add Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina senator; Tammy Duckworth, the first female senator to have seen combat and only the second Asian-American senator; and Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American senator and the second African-American woman to serve in the Senate. The House of Representatives will also welcome Pramila Jayapal and Stephanie Murphy, female members of South-Asian descent.

Other election victors include Kate Brown, Oregon’s new governor, and Ilhan Omar, elected to Minnesota’s state legislature. Mrs. Omar, who spent four years at a Kenyan refugee camp before migrating to the United States, will be the country’s first Somali-American lawmaker. Describing her win, she said, “This was a victory for that 8-year-old in that refugee camp…. This was a victory for every person that’s been told they have limits on their dreams.”

Advertisement

According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women will make up less than 20 percent of the next Congress, with 21 of the 100 Senate seats and 83 of the House’s 435 seats. While these latest additions will not erase the gender disparity, they are welcome and a step in the right direction. At a time when many see Hillary Clinton’s loss as a setback for women in politics, these women, all Democrats, serve as symbols of hope within the party. In coming elections, we hope to see more women leaders emerge—on both sides of the aisle.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Henry George
1 year 8 months ago
We are told that we should not discriminate due to gender, racial background, nation of origin. Fine. Treat each person equally but then why does America want us to vote more women, members of ethnic minorities into Congress ? Shouldn't America just wish that we vote in the best qualified and most Christian politician ? As for Kamala Harris - well her father was an immigrant from Jamaica - so her ancestors on her father's side - are not "African-Americans" but "Jamaican - Americans" if these monikers matter - which they should not - as God made us all.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018
Did Pope Francis depart from Scripture and tradition in declaring the death penalty "inadmissible"? Or was his declaration rooted deeply in both?
Tobias WinrightAugust 17, 2018