AAUW Action Fund on Choice of Senator Kamala Harris for VP

Washington DC, Aug. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kim Churches, CEO of the American Association of University Women Acrtion Fund, issued this statement on August 11, 2020:“The selection of Senator Kamala Harris as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee signals another welcome milestone for women in American politics. Senator Harris, the first woman of color on a major-party ticket, has a strong and impressive record of support for the gender equity issues that AAUW has long championed.“In her primary campaign, she proposed a six-month paid family and medical leave plan, and she voiced strong support for student loan forgiveness, which would especially benefit women who hold more than two-thirds of the nation’s outstanding student loan debt. As a senator, she has supported legislation to help narrow the pay gap, provide protections against workplace harassment and make healthcare more affordable and accessible. She has consistently been a strong advocate for reproductive rights. “The selection of a biracial woman – the first Black woman and the first South Asian American individual to run alongside a major party’s presidential candidate— underscores the ways women continue to make advances in the political arena. When Geraldine Ferraro broke a barrier by becoming Walter Mondale’s running mate 36 years ago, only a handful of women held federal leadership roles: In 1984, just two women served in the Senate and 23 in the House. Today there are 26 female senators and 101 congresswomen, as well as four non-voting delegates. Harris was one of 13 supremely qualified women, including eight women of color, who were reportedly under consideration for the VP role.“This is not to suggest that we are where we need to be. Women in general, and especially women of color, are still underrepresented in proportion to their numbers in the population. What’s more, women candidates are still judged in ways their male counterparts are not: by their demeanor, their smile, the tone of their voice, their wardrobe and hair. We hope that going forward, pundits and voters will look beyond such superficial judgments and focus instead on skills, experience and ideas.“Still there is much to celebrate: Each new step forward, such as the one marked by the selection of Senator Harris, brings us closer to equality, which will benefit us all. The more women leaders we have, and the more diverse those leaders are, the better we will be able to advance the kind of gender and racial equity agenda that this country so desperately needs.” The AAUW Action Fund advances equity for women and girls through member activism and voter mobilizationMary C. Hickey
American Association of University Women Action Fund
[email protected]

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