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'Representation is powerful': Women politicians share what Kamala Harris's win means to them

Amidst a monumental win for the Democratic contender Kamala Harris and the nation in general, women in politics reflect on the precedent this sets for young girls.

'Representation is powerful': Women politicians share what Kamala Harris's win means to them
Image Source: President-Elect Joe Biden And Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Address The Nation After Election Win. WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - NOVEMBER 07. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

It's official. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively. The Democratic win is particularly remarkable as Harris will be the first woman to hold the position, and the first Black and South Asian woman at that. For women and young girls across the United States, the victory is monumental and shows them that anything is possible. In light of Harris' triumph, particularly one over a racist and xenophobic former President and Vice President, women politicians from Capitol Hill and beyond have weighed in, CNN reports. From House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, America's women leaders have reflected on what Harris's win means to them.


"It is a privilege in this nation to be able to see yourself reflected in the face of leadership and for both the African-American community and the Indian American community and for women of color at large," Abrams said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. "Kamala Harris's election signals that the face of leadership does change, that we do have a role to play beyond being supporters and advocates and adjutants that we can be the leaders of this country and I think it is an exceptional moment that we are experiencing in this country."


Ocasio-Cortez added that Harris's victory was "really remarkable," also in an interview with Tapper. She stated, "For so many of us, especially women, we have grown up—I know my entire childhood, we grew up being told women are too emotional and that this country would never elect, first, a Black president—and luckily that happened with the election of Barack Obama, but now a woman of color and no less a Black woman to the second highest seat in the land. It's really remarkable and you can't be what you can't see. That is very often said and it's so amazing that so many little girls are growing up with this being a norm for them."


Fellow "Squad" member Ilhan Omar, the House Representative for Minnesota, watched Harris address the nation on Saturday night with her daughter Ilwad, who is eight years old. "And the first thing Ilwad said to me was, 'This is someone who looks like me, Mama,'" she told CNN's John King. "We can't lose sight of the fact representation is powerful, that she has now allowed so many little girls, not just in our country but around the world, to see themselves as somebody who can ascend to one of the highest offices in our nation and as she said, that anything can be possible if you're willing to work for it."


In her remarks, Vice President-elect Harris declared, "While I may be the first woman in this office. I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities." Though her victory signifies a stark change in the way America feels about women in politics and leadership, we must not forget that token representation does not solve the country's very real problem. Harris, for instance, has come under sharp criticism for her stance on trans rights as well as her policing and incarceration laws. It can only be hoped that her time in the White House will be used to further the rights of those most marginalized, particularly after four years of a Trump administration. Nonetheless, Harris affirmed, "Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not see you, simply because they've never seen it before."


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