Even though not all the results are in from the midterm elections on November 6, a record number of women will be serving in Congress come January. Women served as the force through which the Democrats were able to gain control of the House of Representatives, and worked relentlessly on midterm campaigns. Women's involvement this cycle is unprecedented, perhaps indicating that women are fired up enough to take a more active role in the political world. It's safe to say that many women were upset not to see a woman finally obtain the United States' Presidency in 2016, and maybe this is the way American women are choosing to rise up.
The women who won represent an incredibly diverse picture of America, improving representation for minorities other than just gender. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will become the first Native American women ever elected to Congress. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will be the first Muslim women to hold Congressional seats. Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia are the first Hispanic women to be elected representing Texas. These women represent a new wave of intersectional feminism and the ways in which minorities are working together in light of Trump's administration. This is a positive movement towards a much more representative Congress.
Women also flipped states under Republican control, for example in Kansas and Michigan. State legislatures are incredibly important going into the 2020 presidential election. This is primarily due to the redrawing of voting districts, which will take place before the presidency is up for grabs. This election put women in an influential position that is unprecedented in American politics, making it clear that women plan to make a big impact come November of 2020.
A lot of women who previously were in the United States military also ran in elections and won this cycle, becoming trailblazers in multiple arenas. These included Chrissy Houlahan, an Air Force veteran, Mikie Sherrill, a Navy veteran, and Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative. Another record was broken this cycle, with the youngest woman ever headed to Congress being Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old from New York who worked on Bernie Sanders' campaign in 2016.
Congress is supposed to be the most representative branch of the federal government in the United States, but it often fails to accurately represent sects of the American population such as women, LGBTQ populations, and ethnic and religious minorities. While we are nowhere near accurate proportions, Congress became a much truer picture of America on Tuesday, proving that at least part of the American public is ready for a major change.
Part of what makes women in government so important is that without good female role models holding leadership positions, young women won't see a place for themselves in the political realm. If we ever hope to have a female president, girls have to be brought up seeing powerful women who are actively making a change and holding their own in a currently male-dominated sphere of society. I have to say that, after the devastation of falling short of a woman becoming president in 2016, the milestone is seeming just a little closer. It is inspiring to watch women mobilize the way that they have, and I'm sure many other young women feel motivated to make a change in our world.