Seven Times Women Cracked the Glass Ceiling this Week
While the US has yet to join the many countries who have elected a female leader, this election is still one for the books. Here are seven women who made history this week:
Ilhan Omar: 1st Somali-American lawmaker (Minnesota House seat)
As a former refugee, Ilhan Omar came to the U.S. in 1995 after fleeing the Somali civil war with her family and spending four years in a Kenyan refugee camp. She is dedicated to shifting the narrative of Muslim Americans and promoting a democracy that works for everyone.
Kate Brown: 1st openly LGBT American elected governor (Oregon)
For the second year in a row, the number of LGBT legislators in the U.S. decreased. Despite this, the LGBT community is still celebrating the victory of Kate Brown. While she already had the job, this is her first time being elected for the position. She is concerned with bridging the gaps in a divided community and has expressed hope that our new president-elect will do the same on a national level.
Kamala Harris: 1st Indian-American elected to the Senate & 2nd black woman ever elected to the upper chamber (California)
No stranger to making history, Kamala Harris was the first woman, African American, and Indian American to be California’s top cop. She is the daughter of an Indian American doctor who specializes is cancer and a Jamaican American father who is a professor at Stanford University. While she is well known for her campaigns for eliminating the backlog of untested rape kits and smart justice reform as California’s attorney general, many have suggested that she has the potential to lead the nation one day.
"My mother had a saying ― ‘you may be the first to do many things, make sure you aren’t the last.’ We need to work to ensure the leaders reflect the people they are supposed to represent, and until we achieve that full representation, I think we should understand we are falling short of the ideals of this country."
Tammy Duckworth: 1st Female Senator that has Served in a Combat Zone & 2nd Asian American elected to the senate (Illinois)
Tammy Duckworth was deployed in 2004 and was one of the first army women to fly into combat zones in Iraq. In a devastating incident, she lost both of her legs and some use of her arm. She has been awarded the Purple Heart honor and has advocated for veteran healthcare and transition into civilian life.
Catherine Cortez Masto: 1st Latina senator & 1st female senator in her state (Nevada)
As the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, Catherine Cortez Masto ran her campaign on the reform of immigration and Supreme Court picks for this coming term. She has also served as attorney general for her state, and is known for helping pass laws that combat the manufacture of the dangerous drug methamphetamine.
Stephanie Murphy: 1st Vietnamese-American woman elected to congress (Florida)
With little political experience, Stephanie Murphy clenched the congressional seat, inspired to run following the shooting in Orlando earlier this year. She also served as a national security specialist in the Office of Secretary of Defense in the wake of 9/11 and is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees.
Pramila Jayapal: 1st Indian American woman elected to the House (Washington's 7th congressional district)
Pramila Jayapal moved to the United States at the age of 16 and attended Georgetown University. She has worked diligently in immigration and published a book highlighting the cultural, political, and economical issues she noticed during her 2 year return to India.