2018 has really been a good year for women. As the call for gender equality and equal representation keeps increasing many women are breaking barriers and making history.
In case you haven’t been keeping tabs with what’s going on around the world, the United States is currently holding it’s midterm elections. The 964 candidates in the midterm elections are among the most diverse set to run in the history of the United States.
Among these 964 candidates 272 are women from different races, ethnicities and religions and with the results so far it looks like history is about to be made. From the first Muslim women in Congress to the nation’s first Native American congresswomen, a diverse range of candidates have made history at the midterms.
According to an analysis by the New York Times, these victories have resulted in the share of House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates who are white and male to be at its lowest point in four elections.
Get to know some of these women and how their victories are changing the narrative in the United States.
1. First ever Somali- American to be elected into Congress in the United States
36-year-old, then Omar, is a Somali American politician from Minnesota. In 2016, she was elected a Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the first Somali American legislator elected to office in the United States.
Fast-forward 2018, she has emerged as the first ever Somali- American to be elected into Congress in the United States, having won the primaries as the Democratic Farmer Labor nominee for U.S. Representative in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district.
2. Letitia A. “Tish” James – First black person to serve as Attorney General
60-year-old Tish James is an American lawyer, activist and politician. The first African American woman nominated by a major party for statewide office in New York, she is the Democratic Attorney General-elect, winning in the 2018 election, the first African-American and first woman to be elected to the position.
3. Ayanna Pressley – first African American woman to be elected into congress from Massachusetts
Ayanna Pressley is an American politician and member-elect of the United States House of Representatives for Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district. The 44-year-old just became the first African American woman to be elected into congress from Massachusetts unchallenged by a Republican.
She currently serves as the first woman of colour in the 100-year history of the Boston City Council. The only woman in a field of 15 candidates.
4. Rashida Tlaib – first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature
Rashida Harbi Tlaib is an American politician and attorney. She is a Democratic former member of the Michigan House of Representatives. Until term-limited out, she represented the 6th District, which is in Southwest Detroit and stretches from an area just south of Downtown to the city’s southern border, and west to the city of Dearborn.
Upon taking office on January 1, 2009, Tlaib became the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, and the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any U.S. state legislature.
5. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – youngest woman elected to Congress
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an American politician, educator, and political activist. The 29-year-old is the member-elect of the United States House of Representatives for New York’s 14th congressional district, having won the district’s general election in November 2018. She is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
6. Deb Haaland -one of the first Native American women elected to Congress
Debra A. Haaland s an American politician from New Mexico. She is a former Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. In 2018, she ran as the 2018 Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives to represent New Mexico’s 1st congressional district and won that race against Janice Arnold Jones on November 6, 2018.
7. Sharice Davids – one of the first Native American women elected to Congress
Sharice Davids (born May 22, 1980) is an American attorney and politician from the state of Kansas. She is the member-elect for the United States House of Representatives for Kansas’s 3rd congressional district.
8. Kristi Noem – first woman governor in South Dakota
Kristi Lynn Noem is an American politician serving in the United States House of Representatives for South Dakota’s at-large congressional district since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, she previously served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.
Noem successfully ran for the 2018 gubernatorial election is the Governor-elect of South Dakota. Upon her accession to Governor of South Dakota, she will be the first woman to hold that office.
9. Veronica Escobar – one of the first Latina congresswomen from Texas
Veronica Escobar is an American politician from El Paso, Texas. A member of the Democratic Party, Escobar served as a County Commissioner and County Judge for El Paso County from 2010 to 2017 and is the Democratic Party’s nominee for the United States House of Representatives for Texas’s 16th congressional district in the 2018 elections.
10. Sylvia Garcia – one of the first Latina congresswomen from Texas
Sylvia R. Garcia (born September 6, 1950) is an American politician who represents District 6 in the Texas Senate. She is a member of the Democratic Party and is her party’s nominee in Texas’s 29th congressional district in the 2018 election.