US midterm elections mark the beginning of the ‘Year of the Woman’

November 7, 2018

The US midterm elections marked the start of the ‘Year of the Woman’, as many women took charge and broke the glass ceiling. 

A record number of women have been elected to the US House of Representatives, nearly two years after women took to the streets across the country in protest over the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

“This isn’t just the year of the woman, this is the year of every woman,” said Cecile Richards, who served as the president of Planned Parenthood for more than a decade, noting the ground-breaking diversity among the women who have run for office this year.

First Muslim women elected to Congress 

History has been made as the US elected its first Muslim women to Congress — Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Related: US midterm elections: Republicans hold the Senate, Democrats secure House victory 

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, secured Michigan’s 13th congressional district in a race in which she was the sole major party candidate. Meanwhile, Somali-American Omar bagged the seat previously held by Keith Ellison.

Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar (L) and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib (R).

The Somali refugee came to the US at age 12. She has often spoken out against President Trump’s travel ban against Muslim-majority countries.

Omar took to Twitter to thank people for supporting her.

Youngest woman in Congress 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a progressive Democrat, won her race for a US House seat in New York’s 14th District, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Photo: Facebook/Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

The 29-year-old newcomer easily prevailed in the heavily Democratic district against Republican opponent Anthony Pappas.

Related: Democrats hope to sway voters as US heads to midterm polls 

“This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions … are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change,” she said in her victory speech, reported Huffington Post.

First Native American women elected to Congress

Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland have become the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Sharice Davids (L) and Deb Haaland (R).

Davids, 38, of Kansas, is an attorney by training and a former mixed martial arts fighter. She is also openly lesbian in a state that is traditionally conservative.

“Strong, Resilient, Indigenous,” reads the t-shirt worn by Davids in one of her campaign ads for election in the state’s 3rd congressional district, which includes Kansas city and its southern suburbs.

Related: As Trump begins second year, women stage nationwide protests 

On the other hand, 57-year-old Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, is a well-known community activist in her solidly Democratic district, working tirelessly to encourage Native Americans to vote.