By Winnie Kabintie
The 2020 elections in the US will always be memorable in many ways;
Other than the melee that ensued following the defeat of the incumbent Donald Trump and his deputy president Mike Pence, the election saw America get her first female vice-president.
Kamal Harris has made history by becoming the vice president of the United States of America following her inauguration in 2021 alongside President Joe Biden.
Joe Bidden and Kamala Harris Candidacy
In April 2019, Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election and successfully clinched the Democratic nomination in June 2020.
In August, he announced Kamala Harris, then California Senator as his running mate and the duo would, later on, win the election after Biden garnered 306 electoral votes against Donald Trump’s 232.
On January 20, 2021, 78-year-old “Sleepy Joe” as he popularly referred to was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, also making history in his own way by becoming the oldest sitting president and also the first president from the state of Delaware.
America’s First Female Vice President
Kamala Haris has become the United States’ first female vice president, the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, the first African American vice president, and the first Asian American vice president.
“A new chapter begins today. Tune in now for #Inauguration2021 Joe Biden and I are sworn in to office and set our nation on a new path forward,” Kamala Harris said on Twitter, moments to the inauguration.
Her achievement comes at a time when there are heightened campaigns in women empowerment especially in the political sphere.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the “Iron Lady of Liberia” and Africa’s first female president
Ethiopia’s president Sahle-Work Zewde, who also made history in 2018 after she became the first female president in Ethiopia was among the leaders that congratulated Haris.
“The 1st female Vice President of the US, the 1st Afro American and of South Asian descent. I have no doubt she will inspire many young girls and women in and beyond the US. A door has opened: they can dream big” said Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Female leadership has been touted as a key enabler to peace, democracy, and development and Africa as a continent has made some strides in promoting women in leadership.
Africa had her first female head of state in 2006 following the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as president of Liberia.
Rwanda is also the only country in the world where women hold more than half the seats in parliament—51.9% as of July 2019.
In Kenya, the 2017 elections saw more women elected than at any other time in history according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), including three female governors against a total of 44 men.
Among the three governors elected is Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, who also made history in 1997 by becoming the first woman to vie for the presidency in Kenya.
The 2022 General elections in Kenya are just around the corner and we hope to see more women clinch political seats in the ballot, including the highest office of the presidency, it can be done!