Kamala Harris made history on Nov. 7, shattering the glass ceiling and becoming the first woman vice-president-elect in history. She is the first woman and first woman of color to hold this office — a major milestone that exposes our nation’s damaging history of racial injustice and patriarchy.
Harris brings many firsts to the vice presidency — as a daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, she will be the first woman, the first Black person, the first Indian American and the first Asian American to hold the office.
For both Black and South Asian women in the United States, the ceiling has collapsed and possibilities have opened for women everywhere. Harris has risen higher in our country’s leadership than any woman before. This win paves the way for our daughters and granddaughters to continue making history.
The California senator's history-making win also represents the millions of women in demographics that are often overlooked and systematically ignored. Harris represents what America should have seen a long time ago: a strong, hard-working woman more than capable of leading our country.
Late Saturday night, VP-Elect Harris addressed the nation for the first time, bringing her audience to tears as she conveyed the importance of her win for women and minorities everywhere.
"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, and to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they've never seen it before. But know that we will applaud you every step of the way," she said.
This statement encompasses everything her win means to the American people. The future vice president’s victory and the representation it brings carries a win for voters across the country, with even UW-Madison students commenting on what this historic achievement means to them.
“Kamala Harris shows me that women have the power to be active in spaces where we have typically been underrepresented. She gives me the strength and motivation to share my voice and proves that women deserve a spot in the White House. As a first time voter, this election was big for me… and it means so much more to know that we get to celebrate Harris as the first female VP.” Bridget Horvath, a UW-Madison junior and a first-time voter from Illinois said.
Jack Madison, a senior at UW-Madison from Minnesota said, “I was raised by women and was always around strong women and now they now finally have a well-deserved seat at the table in the highest office in our land.”
“Kamala Harris becoming the first woman VP-elect means that women all over the world can see someone who looks like them in a position of power and give them hope that they can achieve their dreams. Knowing that there is a woman advocating for us in the White House and that she has a seat at one of the most important tables in the world gives me peace of mind and hope for America’s future,” said Hailey Laubscher, UW-Madison junior and a first-time voter from Minnesota.
Hearing from fellow UW-Madison students and their idea of this historic achievement emphasizes the magnitude of Kamala Harris’s victory. To me, this win means everything. Most importantly it means that there is hope for the future of this country. Her position creates a platform of power for women of color and this representation is groundbreaking for women today and the women who will come after her.
The office of the Vice President has historically been occupied exclusively by white men. Harris’s nomination and victory this year was a sign that our country is realizing the power and influence of women in America. Her win serves as a lesson for anyone arguing that a woman could not succeed on a presidential ticket.
It is about time the gender barrier in our country is dismantled and I am thrilled that Kamala Harris is leading this charge for all women. Madam Vice President is no longer a dream, or a fictional character — it is reality and her name is Kamala Harris.
Samantha is a junior studying Strategic Communications, with a certificate in Digital Studies. How significant is the election of Kamala Harris as VP for women around the country? Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org