Women lost the election, but won in Congress: first Latina and Indian-American Senators appointed

by Stefania Sarrubba

President-elect Donald Trump’s triumph as the 45th President of the United States has postponed the possibility of electing the first female president in the country’s history. Nonetheless, a significant step forward in widening representation has been made in Congress, where Catherine Cortez Masto and Kamala Harris were elected the first Latina and Indian-American Senators. Both women ran as Democrats and the two have broken several barriers with their victories on Tuesday.

Cortez Masto, former Attorney General of Nevada, defeated her opponent, the Republican Joseph J. Heck and became Nevada’s first female senator and the first Latina senator. She becomes the fourth Hispanic Senator in the US joining Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Robert Menendez.

Harris, of Jamaican and Indian descent, won her race against Orange County Republican Loretta Sanchez who, if elected, would have become the first Hispanic senator in California. Harris, the second woman of colour to sit in Congress, addressed her supporters shortly after the election pleading for them not to despair over Clinton’s loss.

More than 60 per cent of California voters chose to support Clinton during the election, making the Golden State one of the most important secured by the Democratic candidate. However not enough for her to reach the 270 delegates necessary to defeat Trump.

Cortez Masto and Harris’s historic elections mirror the emotional concession speech given by Hillary Clinton on 9 November. The former Secretary of State reinforced her belief in women’s power and in pursuing the preferred career pathway without experiencing discrimination. This statement came at the end of a campaign Corrine Moss-Racusin, an associate professor of psychology at Skidmore College, has perceived as biased toward women.

Following the results, a vast majority of Clinton’s supporters, especially female ones, experienced difficulty with adjusting to the President-elect. On Wednesday, numerous protests were held to express discontent in cities across the US, among them Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In New York, pop singer Lady Gaga protested in front of Trump Tower and many other celebrities are expected to have a say about the election outcome, as well.

One things is certain, America must wait for a female president at least until 2020. Trump has not formally arrived in the White House yet, but Democrats are already calling for Michelle Obama to run in the next election cycle.

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