How Women Won this Election

How Women Won this Election

Noelle Hendrickson, Writer

Although Hillary Clinton didn’t make it to the White House, the 2016 US Election was a historic milestone for women in American politics. With minority women in power, the nation will hopefully compensate itself when President Elect Donald Trump takes control in January 2017. From the first LGBT governor to the first disabled woman in Senate to making history here in Alabama, politics can be seen rising to clearly represent the diversity and distinctiveness America holds.  

Pramila Jayapal  was born in India and raised in southern Asia. She attended college in the United States at the age of 16. Starting January 2017, Jayapal will be the first South-Asian woman to serve in the House of Representatives, representing Washington’s 7th congressional district in Congress. She states, “I am so thankful to be one of the diverse, energetic and passionate people in our progressive movement. If this moment teaches us anything, it’s that Washington State and our beloved Seattle will always show a better way.” In congress she plans on building up the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as she is a “strong advocate for survivors of sexual assault.” 

Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War Veteran  was elected this year to take Mark Kirk’s seat in the Senate. She will be the first disabled woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, the first member of congress born in Thailand, and the first Asian American woman to be elected to congress in Illinois. A trilingual receiver of a Purple Heart, she focuses on many concerns, including making colleges available to all  and national security. On women’s rights she states, “Supporting women should be a national priority. Our nation will never be able to achieve what it is truly capable of until women have full equality. It’s time for all of us to follow in the footsteps of those women who sacrificed so much for our country and do whatever is in our power to make sure that our daughters have every opportunity they deserve.” 

History was also made for the LGBT community when Democrat Kate Brown was elected to become Oregon’s governor as an openly bisexual woman. So far, she has passed the Family and Medical Leave, Oregon Equality Act, and Family Fairness Act.   She plans to do even more as governor, focusing especially on equality and social justice. She quotes, “I grew up in a middle class family. I went to law school. I know what it feels like to be paid less — substantially less — than the male lawyer in the office next to me. This is not just about power. This is about making sure women are not discriminated against because of their gender, because of their race and because of their sexual orientation.”

In Jefferson County, Alabama, black women made history as nine were elected to become judges. All democrats, Javan Patton, Debra Bennett Winston, Shera Craig Grant, Nakita Perryman Blocton, Tamara Harris Johnson, Agnes Chappell, Brendette Brown Green and Annetta Verin were elected for the first time, along with Elisa French being reelected.

Overall, hopefully the representation of America’s multifariousness population in the government elected in 2016 will work to both inspire and better the lives of girls and women everywhere.