Empowering women isn’t just exciting, it’s necessary—something that is vital to social transformation, economic growth, and political stability. But what is it exactly that makes women so damn special in this political climate? The answer is surprising simple. Because of the different obstacles they’ve had to face on the road to success, they bring in new experiences and backgrounds. This shapes how they govern and what issues they choose to focus their time on. Issues that men may overlook because of their own personal histories. Many influential individuals have voiced their opinion on this matter, and **surprise** it looks as though they agree that women are an imperative part of our society.

“When women succeed, nations are more safe, secure and prosperous,” said former President Barack Obama.

Likewise, Kofi Annan, 7th UN Secretary General, has insisted, “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”

Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, agrees. “Empowering women is key to building a future we want,” she said.

As cliché as it sounds, the future does indeed belong to women. They are the people who are going to revolutionize the world; transforming people’s thinking for centuries to come.

While most women understand that change is a gradual process, that doesn’t mean they will stop pushing for change. Now, instead of politely asking for people to change, women are taking it upon themselves to make their voices heard.

“We can’t rely on those who profit from our perceived flaws to change their ways. There is no easy fix to the ideas of women that have existed for hundreds of years,” said Lili Reinhart at Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit. “[This] leaves us with one option, which is changing it ourselves. Showing what’s real with no filter and certainly with no shame.”

Change is long overdue and women are continuously stepping up to make it happen. For instance, November has shown to be a huge stride in women empowerment. In fact, some even speculate that women could lead the future of the Democratic party. Recently, the first two Muslim women and the first Native American woman were elected to Congress. Additionally, Ayanna Pressley became the first black Congresswoman from Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress. This kind of increased representation is huge for women everywhere.

These past midterm elections held some historic wins for women, and with those wins will come the very real power to make change in America. According to Vox, Political science research has found this over and over again: Women legislators are more likely to introduce legislation that specifically benefits women. They’re better at bringing funding back to their home districts, and, to put it bluntly, they just get more shit done. In fact, on average, female legislators pass twice as many bills as male legislators.

Additionally, according to Time, “Having extra women in these institutions makes just a little bit more cultural change in how things are done,” says Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, which works to elect pro-choice women Democrats. “Women get more bills passed, their bills have more co-sponsorships than their male counterparts, women in general are more progressive.”

These elections have proven that today’s empowered women are no longer just advocating for change but leading it, paving the way for the women of tomorrow. Women are no longer just making history, they are rewriting it. And this new class of women elected to Congress is guaranteed to enact change by fighting for women’s freedom. Especially their freedom to make their own choices.

According to Shivani Gopal, “Giving women the opportunity and freedom for choices…means women can choose to fully participate in the workforce, be promoted as equals to their male counterparts, and have the opportunity to earn the same as men.” Increasing the amount of women in power enables them to fight for the rest of us, express things based on their experiences, and play a crucial role in our government.

And if these midterm elections have shown anything, it’s that this is just the beginning…   

Jenna Wirth
jennawirthjerk@gmail.com
Jenna Wirth is a freshman magazine major who, despite being intelligent, lacks common sense and the ability to talk without having marbles in her mouth. Television is her one true love, and she tweets about it. A lot. When she's not indulging in her guilty pleasure of reading Fanfiction, she's either traveling, attending conventions, napping, devouring cheese fondue, or binge-watching Netflix.

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