With the discussions around gender and the US election, there is cause for celebration – the number of women of colour in the Senate just quadrupled and we have some wonderful leaders to look up to.
Tammy Duckworth, Illinois
Congresswoman Duckworth fought in the Iraq war and lost both her legs when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down.
With a passion for veterans’ affairs, Duckworth has vowed to focus her attention on veteran access to health care, while representing the views of soldiers in dialogues around both foreign policy and deployment.
Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Former refugee elected as first female Somali-American legislator.
With her election, Somali born refugee Ilhan Omar is one of the most visible Muslims in the American government. In addition to her political duties, Omar is the director of policy as the Women Organising Women Network, a group which aims to empower all women (particularly first and second generation immigrants from East Africa) to become community leaders and engaged citizens.
Kalama Harris –California First black female senator elected since 1999
With Jamaican and Indian parents, Ms. Harris made history initially as the first female attorney general in California, and now the first black politician to represent California in the Senate, and the second only back woman to be elected to the US Senate.
She is particularly passionate about education from early childhood to high school, and an effective criminal justice system.
Kate Brown – Oregon First openly LGBT person elected US governor
While Ms. Brown previously held the position of Governor after a resignation, she has made history as the first openly LBGT person to be electedas a Governor in the United States.
She has committed her term to fighting discrimination in all forms.
Pramila Jayapal – Washington Indian-American woman elected to Congress
Ms. Jayapal moved to the US at just 16 years old. After 9/11, she founded an anti-hate advocacy group called OneAmerica and was praised for her work with the US Senate. Her election is a fantastic win against the anti-immigration rhetoric.
Catherine Cortez Masto – Nevada First-ever elected Latina senator
Ms. Masto has made history as the first person of Latina descent elected to the Senate. She is a passionate advocate for the people of Nevada, where she has grown up, and has vowed to do all she can to advocate for the people she represents.
Congratulations to each of these fantastic women, I’ll be keeping a keen eye on your success as you take up your seats in Government!