“I’m here today because of the women that came before me.”
It’s not every day that the world gets to watch herstory being made: but on 20th January 2021, the first woman, and the first Black and first South Asian to ever be elected to such a position, Kamala Devi Harris, was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States of America.
Wearing an all-purple skirt suit (along with former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Hilary Clinton) in tribute to suffragists who fought for a woman’s right to vote, and tweeting: “I’m here today because of the women that came before me”, Ms Harris’ very presence on the inauguration stage has already shifted the world of possibilities for millions of women and girls from all walks of life.
A fact that will make the Joe Biden presidency a breath of much needed fresh air after the misogyny, sexism and known impending sexual harassment trials that the former President, Donald Trump represented.
As well as seeing a Madam Vice President of Indian-Jamaican heritage take the helm, the world also welcomes its first ever Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff.
In an occasion filled with landmark moments, the epitome of the swearing-in ceremony ended with the first – and youngest – ever poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, taking to the stage to read The Hill We Climb. Wearing earrings and a caged bird ring gifted by Oprah Winfrey in memory of the late, great author and activist, Maya Angelou, Ms Gorman’s presence and words, emphasised yet further how great a stride for race and gender equality has been taken – and how far the USA has yet to go. READ the full transcript of Ms Gorman’s poem HERE.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
– Amanda Gorman –
Prior to taking her oath on Capitol Hill, ‘Aunty Kamala’ (as she is lovingly known by a global Indian diaspora) had promised to change conceptions of the kind of face and voice that can wield great political power. Stating:
Millions of women historically overlooked, underrepresented and systematically ignored as both women and as women from ‘othered’ communities, are now witnessing a handover of traditional powers to one of their own…
While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.
To that, we can only respond: here, here Madam Vice-President.
Thank you for Making Herstory.