A big step forward for women | The State

A big step forward for women

Kamala Harris will be sworn in as US Vice President on January 20.

Cagle Cartoon / Courtesy

Wednesday January 20 will be a very important day. Not only because the country will have the opportunity to start a new chapter to leave behind four years of the worst nightmare called Donald Trump, but because it will mark a milestone in the history of the fight for the empowerment of women.

The inauguration of Kamala Harris as the first woman vice president of the United States, in addition to being the first woman of black race and Asian roots to reach the White House, is a reward for a movement that has given everything for gender equality.

For women – particularly in the United States – it has been very elusive to reach the upper echelons of power. If we go back to contemporary political history we have the example of Shirley Chisholm who in 1972 became the first black candidate for the presidential nomination of a major party and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party nomination.

Back then just winning the New Jersey primary made her the first woman or African American to win an election in any state.

And while in other parts of the planet we already have women running the reins of their countries, in the United States the wait has been frustrating. Only a prominent figure like Hillary Clinton managed to crack that glass ceiling in 2016.

It is worth mentioning that the list of women and men who have contributed to reaching this point in American history is long and has an up and down path. But now is the time to celebrate this great achievement by Kamala Harris. As she said at the time, the triumph achieved is an example for the new generations. “I will be the first woman (in this position) but not the only one.” I hope so.

As Latinos, we are pleased that Vice President-elect Harris is planning to take office with the help of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Hispanic Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Sotomayor, born in New York and whose parents were Puerto Rican, became the first Hispanic judge to ascend to the Supreme Court in the country’s history in 2009, after being nominated by then-President Barack Obama.
It will certainly be a moment worth witnessing. Seeing these two women who have broken schemes in this ceremony leads us to the conclusion that equality can be achieved.

As a society, the US owes a great debt to women. We hope that Harris’s inauguration marks the path to true social justice that breaks down the barriers that have held back the advancement of women. We believe that this is a country of possibilities for all.


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