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American Women: Kamala Harris and the women of the Biden administration

The wave of women in the new American presidency

By Francesca Parravicini

Four years ago, back in November 2016 (a long long time ago) America and the whole world were anxiously awaiting the results of the American election, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump opposing each other. Two different worlds, two very different ways of seeing politics, with the prospect of having a woman at the head of the most powerful country in the world. Now we all know how it went and how these past few years have been dark for the representation of women and feminism, with a whole series of skin crawling statements from the president.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Now in 2020, this bizarre and evil year, a new election, this time Donald Trump and Joe Biden, former vice-president of Barack Obama. Among a thousand disasters, a good thing happened and Biden became the new President of the United States. A victory for democracy, but not only: Kamala Harris became the first female and black vice-president.

Perhaps the first small step towards a more inclusive political world? Only time will tell us.

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Un post condiviso da Acrimònia Magazine (@acrimoniamagazine)

Meanwhile, let's get to know the interesting women of this new era.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris chose to wear a white Carolina Herrera suit during her first speech as vice-president. An aesthetic choice that may seem insignificant but evokes an incredible history of extraordinary women before her: white is the symbolic color often worn by suffragettes, a symbol of purity and non-violence.

Women were at the center of her words: While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.

Kamala Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California. Her mother Shyamala Gopalon was an Indian oncologist, the father Donald Harris is a Jamaican professor and economist, a multiethnic and multicultural background that is the basis of her ideals and pushes her from an early age to take an interest in issues of racial equality and stand against apartheid. She studied at Howard University (a university with a majority of black students) where she majored in Political Science and Economics and at the University of California, where she earned a doctorate in law. Over the next several years she worked as an Attorney in various cities, becoming the first black woman to hold this position in California. Among her battles, the fight against crime, violence against minors, discrimination of LGBT rights.

Since 2016 she is a member of the Senate, the first black woman to be elected to this office.

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Un post condiviso da Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris)

Maya Harris

The biggest supporter of Kamala's work is her sister, Maya.

Born on January 30th, 1967, Maya graduated with a BA in Arts at the University of California, then majored in Law at Stanford Law School to become a lawyer. During her career she managed and collaborated with organizations and associations focused on social equality, individual freedom, education, civil rights, the elimination of racial disparities. She's not a stranger to the world of politics (and especially to the world of women in politics), she worked on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016, and then become chairwoman of her sister's campaign.

Speaking of her sister she said: We forged a bond that is unbreakable. When I think about it, all the joyous moments in our lives, all of the challenging moments, all the moments of transition, we have always been together.

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Un post condiviso da Maya Harris (@mayaharris_)

Meena Harris

Meena Harris is Maya's daughter and Kamala's granddaughter: with two women like this in the family, the good influences are guaranteed! Meena, born on October 20, 1984, studied at Stanford and Harvard and she is a lawyer and writer. Her career is defined by feminist themes: in 2017 she founded the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, an organization dealing with issues such as health, education, justice, political representation and STEM representation, with some excellent ambassadors like Serena Williams, Viola Davis, Janelle Monae, Lizzo. She published the children's book Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, the story of her mother and aunt, in order to inspire new generations of girls to dream big; her second book, Ambitious Girl, will be released next year and it will be a manifesto for a new generation of girls.

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Un post condiviso da Meena Harris (@meena)

Jill Biden

Of course, we have to mention the new First Lady! Jill Biden was born on June 3, 1950 in Hamilton, New Jersey. In her life, work and education are central: she started working as a waitress at 15, when she was still studying in high school. At the University of Delaware she studied Fashion Merchandising, but unsatisfied she decided to enroll in the English faculty, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in 1975; later she began her teaching career and married Joe Biden in 1977, two years after meeting him. In the following years, after taking a break to take care of her children, she took two masters and taught in several public high schools, taking care of students with special needs. She taught in community colleges, often considered class B colleges, but for her they enhance the power of culture, which can positively affect people's lives, at all ages and social levels. She supports several associations, like Biden Breast Initiative, which focuses on breast health awareness and Book Buddies, that provides books to children from low-income families. During her husband's office as Vice-President, she continued to teach and led educational initiatives, often with Michelle Obama. A mission that she also wants to continue as First Lady.

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Un post condiviso da Dr. Jill Biden (@drbiden)

Ashley Biden

The new First Daughter Ashley Biden has a very interesting profile. Born on June 8, 1981 in Wilmington, Delaware, she showed her activism since a very young age: she was only in elementary school when she wrote a letter to the cosmetic company Bonne Bell to criticize their use of animal tests. After studying Cultural Anthropology at Tulane University she worked as a waitress and camp counselor before starting her career as a social worker, caring for children with special needs. Her social commitment is quite remarkable: in 2010 she received the John Hope Franklin award from Pennsylvania University for her commitment against racism, she collaborated and founded several associations that deal with mental health, marginal communities, public education, prevention of crime and violence. Her commitment is also extended to the world of art and fashion, with the Young@Art program promoting artistic expression in difficult communities and with Livelihood Collection, an ethical clothing brand, linked to charitable initiatives.

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Un post condiviso da Ashleybiden (@ashleey.biden)

Naomi Biden

It is said that Joe Biden's grandchildren were the first to announce the victory to their grandfather. A photo has now gone viral, posted by the oldest, Naomi, on Twitter, shows the newly elected president in a group hug with his family.

Naomi, 26 years old, is a graduate of Columbia University School and she uses her social media to share her (wonderfully natural) family shots, her political views and an absolutely passionate support for her grandfather's campaign. It seems that she is already very strong and driven.

We are sure that she will leave her mark too!

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Un post condiviso da NKB (@naomibiden)