By: Cathy Spillar.
“Inspired by the massive Women’s Marches, encouraged by feminist organizations and energized by passionate volunteers, record numbers of women candidates—many of them first-timers—stepped forward to run for office in the midterm elections.
Victories by feminist women candidates shifted the balance of power in the House, accounting for more than 60 percent of Democrats’ gains. Historic breakthroughs define the newest incoming class of women, which includes the youngest women to ever serve in Congress,the first Native American and Muslim women to be sworn into Congress, the first black congresswomen from New England states and the first Latinas to ever represent Texas in Congress.
Among the ranks of the new women taking their place in Washington, D.C., are social workers, teachers, military officers and veterans, judges, lawyers and refugees. A pediatrician will be the only woman among 16 doctors in Congress. There are experts on the homeless crisis, early childhood education and human trafficking and a mother who lost her teenage son to gun violence.
The presence of more women in Congress will have important impacts on policy debates, given their different backgrounds and varied life experiences. They will bring much-needed perspectives and ideas to the ensuing battles over health care, reproductive rights, gun reform, immigration, the environment, voting rights, sexual harassment and assault, LGBTQ rights, military spending and foreign policy—and to the fight for women’s equality.”
By: Kathy Spillar