Girls on the helm

The doors to the White House seem to have opened for women, scripting a fair and historic tale. The story began when Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate. Now, with their election, his tenure will be remembered for having the first woman Vice-President in the country’s politics of more than two centuries. Kamala has many other firsts to her credit: she is the first Black, Indian-American, of South Asian descent, and daughter of immigrants (Indian mother and Jamaican father) to have been elected to a national office. Considering the strides that women have made in most fields, it is high time the barrier was broken at the highest political levels. That the barrier came down battling both sexism and racism at once is inspirational and strengthens the belief in diversity.

Reinforcing this mindset is Biden’s building of his team to run the government. The announcements in the past couple of days point towards a trend in setting the gender balance right and making it more reflective of the country that is today home to a vast and multicultural set of demographics. These five women represent the growing empowerment and recognition of the abilities of the fair sex in varied fields: Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the United Nations, Cecilia Rouse as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers and Neera Tanden as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. That they are among the initial lot and not the only ones to be trusted with strategic posts was clear as the septuagenarian President-elect declared another first: an all-women senior White House communications team led by Jen Psaki as press secretary and Kate Bedingfield as communications director.

As the gritty and talented women leaders go on to prove their worth, hopefully, this trend will spiral till their rightful representation becomes the new normal. Marking the centenary of US women gaining the right to vote, this presidential election shows that though the doors to corridors of power have been slow to open for women, they are surely widening.

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