2018 has been dubbed by mainstream media as ‘The Year of the Woman.’
Whether you view such statements as just political hyperbole, nonetheless, there is no doubt that the Presidential election results of 2016 have prompted an upsurge in participation in the democratic system, activism, and grassroots organizing by women.
The results of last night’s midterm elections were a testament to such efforts paying off.
In a historic moment in U.S. politics, more than 100 women across the political spectrum were elected into Congress last night.
While a record number of women were elected to Congress, the historic night is a consequence of the unprecedented number of first-time and female candidates who ran for the mid-term elections this year.
To add, several first-time candidates flipped congressional seats that have been held by the GOP.
Here is a list of some stand out victories for women:
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Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin – and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what – that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . 📸: @gigilaub
After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary election earlier this year, the Bronx native garnered a lot of media attention.
The 29-year-old has continued to make headlines as Ocasio-Cortez (D) became the youngest woman to be elected to Congress.
Cindy Axne won a House seat in Iowa defeating incumbent Republican Rep. David Young.
Former CIA analyst, Abigail Spanberger, defeated Tea Party Republican Dave Brat.
Democrat Rashida Tlaib is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib won Michigan’s 13th District, which includes part of the city of Detroit and its surrounding suburbs.
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Ilhan Omar is one of two women to have been elected to Congress. She is a member of Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Omar’s story came to the US just over two decades ago as a refugee from Somali.
Republican Marsha Blackburn became the first female senator to represent Tennessee.
Voters in Texas elected the state’s first two Hispanic women to Congress.
Veronica Escobar won the seat in the congressional district near El Paso, while State Sen. Sylvia Garcia won the seat in a district near Houston.
Other Democratic candidate Deb Haaland, is another Native American woman to be elected to Congress. Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna.
Democrat Sharice Davids is one of two Native American women to have been elected to Congress. Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
She also self-identifies as a lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT member of Congress to represent Kansas. Her background as a lawyer and her experience as a mixed martial arts fighter make her a true bad-ass candidate.
What the 2018 Results Mean for Congress
Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives but did not gain a majority over the Senate. The Democratic Party won six governorships but the Democratic challenges from Andrew Gillum (Florida), Stacey Abrams (Georgia), and Beto O’Rourke (Texas) ultimately fell short.
Though the “blue wave” didn’t formulate as Democrats had hoped, the results and achievements of the women I have listed above still give us a lot to be hopeful for.
Whether Trumpism or the #MeToo Movement are contributing factors in galvanizing women to run for office or be moved to political action on an unprecedented level, the fact of the matter is, women are organizing and women are mobilizing.
Or, maybe, just maybe, women are just sick and tired of having old, white, heterosexual and cisgendered men in control of their bodies and reproductive rights. There is an active and inspiring effort by women across the country who are committed to making a fundamental change to the state of the nation.
The results of last night are not only inspiring but offer some much-needed hope and optimism in a highly divisive and volatile political climate.