Year of change: women in the US midterms

 

 

The US midterms marked a watershed moment for American women in politics (pictured above Ilhan Omar newly elected  member of the House of Representatives for Minnesota). The presidency of Donald Trump has sparked a movement: a movement of women paving the way for tolerance, equality, and justice for minorities. The voice of women is growing, and it is rearing its head with power.

CNN reported analysis that highlighted the number of people who were going to use their vote to oppose the President is higher than in previous years; and it proved correct in the diversity of candidates elected to office. The midterms were an act of defiance, and the results highlight this anger and action needed to transform the male-dominated political landscape. Donald Trump ironically catalysed the political courage of women, spurring them to run for election and to win as  determination for change was born from the protest movements succeeding the inauguration. It was then many women realised that change had to begin; to do this women have to be visible within the political sphere, to normalise the position of women in it and unravel the imbedded patriarchal political structure.

David Wasserman, US House editor of the non-partisan Cook Political Report, said ‘[this] would not be occurring without Donald Trump in the White House. It is a direct reaction to his election.’.

The results of the midterms have alleviated the fear that came with the election of Trump. Hope has replaced fear and will continue to do so. Even for those who did not win, the midterms stand testament that women will not stay down for long and when they get back up, they get up with force. It is, as Tom Perez chair of the Democratic National Committee has said, ‘the year of woman everywhere’.

History was made as diversity and womanhood triumphed. Although men continue to make up 76% of Congress,the midterms promise change to come. As Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, an organisation that helps Democratic women get elected says: ‘we’re never going back.’.

Women elected include:

  • Kristi Noem: first female governor of South Dakota.
  • Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids: first Native American women elected to Congress.
  • Marsha Blackburn: first female senator of Tennessee.
  • Rashida Tlaib: first Palestinian-American and Muslim woman to be elected to Congress.
  • Ilhan Omar: first Somali-American and Muslim woman to be elected to Congress.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: the youngest woman elected to Congress defeating 10-term congressman Joe Crowley.
  • Ayanna Pressley: first black Congresswoman from Massachusetts.

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