Special Opinion Report by

Shubhangini Arora

 

These federal mid-term elections in the USA were not just recorded as the most monetarily expensive elections in history of the country, they also witnessed something more unusual and phenomenal: 100 women being elected to the Congress for the first time!

 

Important women’s issues like the wage-gap, the argument regarding being pro-choice etc. have been raised in the country time and again. Having a good number of women now at the governing level may bring some relief to those who have remained unrepresented for a long time.

 

Elected together from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, this is the first time the women congress members manged to crossed this number. Amongst these was the youngest woman to be elected to the Congress till date, Elise M. Stefanik, 30, Joni Ernst, Senate’s first female combat veteran, Mia Love, the first Republican Black woman from Utah and Shelley Moore Capito, first female senator from West Virginia.

 

This Tuesday, Democrat Alma Adams, after winning from North Carolina, became the 100th woman to be elected to the Congress. This success is being credited to EMILY’s List, a PAC (Political Acton Committee) that aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office.

 

The President of EMILY’s List, Stephanie Schriock, said, “Alma Adams is a trailblazer and champion for women and families who is now poised to make history as the 100th woman serving in Congress.” She added, “Working families need leaders like Alma, who will unapologetically fight to protect women’s reproductive healthcare access and economic security.”

 

Apart from Adams, the country saw women from different backgrounds and ideologies being elected. Yesterday, the first Republican black woman was elected from Utah. Mia Love follows Mormonism and promised to take on “the Godzilla that we call the federal government.”

 

These mid-term elections also saw the youngest female member of Congress, – Elise Stefanik, 30. A member of the Republican Party, Stefanik is from New York and has been a recipient of the Women’s Leadership Award at Harvard. According to her, she wishes to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 

 

Another woman that made history is Iowa’s Joni Ernst who isn’t just the first woman from Iowa to be elected to the House or the Senate; she will also be the Senate’s first female combat veteran. A Republican Party member, Ernst supports a number of causes that include tax reforms and gun rights. She is against Same-sex marriage and federal minimum wage.

 

Where many Democrats may not be happy about most of such views, their criticism towards the Republican Party for the lack of racial and gender diversity, has been taken care of. However, the diversity amongst the representatives cannot guarantee equality as many of the elected women have conservative ideologies.

 

Though this is a huge improvement, having a100 congresswomen doesn’t even make up for 20% of the office. Being a developed nation, the percentage of women representatives in the US is far less than many other democratic countries. Still, this is a significant step and is being celebrated throughout the country.