“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful, and your voice matters. You’re going to walk into many rooms in your life and career where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you’ve had. But you remember that when you are in those rooms, you are not alone. We are all in that room with you applauding you on. Cheering your voice. And just so proud of you. So you use that voice and be strong.” -Kamala Harris
As Kamala Harris begins her position as the Vice President of the United States of America, her advocacy for gender equity through an intersectional lens becomes even more prominent. Harris is continually shattering glass ceilings as the first female, Black woman, Indian-American and first of Asian-American descent, Vice President-elect. Not only is she doing so herself, but she is helping other women as well. Women will comprise more than 50% of the most senior White House staff and the entire senior communications team for the Biden-Harris administration. These positions give women power, allow them to be agents of change, and provide representation for girls and women. Harris’s mission to work from the inside to create social change and uplift ALL girls and women alongside her is coming to fruition.
During this shift from one administration to the next, the transfer of power, and the senate majority’s flip, there is an anticipation that drastic change will occur. Women’s Fund of Rhode Island recognizes changes that need to happen, specifically regarding the impact that society’s problems have on girls and women. Women’s Fund works to combat the “…undeniable correlation between poverty, low self-esteem, poor health and inadequate healthcare, job access and wages, domestic violence, sexual assault and being female” through creating public policies and achieving systemic change.
So, will the Biden-Harris administration have a similar focus to WFRI and take action as they say they will? Where will their changes begin, and how far will they go? When will new policies about social justice become law, and will systemic change occur? Should law enforcement expect to be held legally accountable for wrong-doings to the same extent as marginalized groups? How will girls and women be affected in the midst of all of it? Will Harris’s position give rise to more females holding higher positions? Most importantly, given recent events, will the leadership from this administration be kept to a certain standard, and if so, to what degree?
As Harris takes her oath of office, she must be a leader for all people. There is a societal expectation she will fulfill it and serve much differently than the prior administration. A focus from this coming administration on gender equity through systemic change can aid in the work done by WFRI and lead to many people envisioning a better future.