How Hillary Clinton Broke a Glass Ceiling for Women Without Winning the Election

By: Daniela Sarafov

Edited by: Bridget Salice

Waking up on the morning of November 9th, 2016 was perhaps one of the saddest and most hopeless moments of my life. I could not believe that I lived in a world where someone who stood for the antithesis of what this country was built on now sat in arguably the most powerful position in the world. I felt personally hurt as not only an immigrant but also as a woman. Going to sleep the night of the election, I was ready to wake up to the sound of a shattering glass ceiling…I was ready to proudly, for the first time in history, see a woman serve as president of the United States. I was disheartened and discouraged – it felt like my voice didn’t matter.

It wasn’t until I turned on the television on the morning of January 22nd in 2017, when I saw millions of people marching on the streets of every major city from New York to Washington and across the coast to Los Angeles, that I regained some trust that we could feel strong again. A sea of 470,000 pink hats and picket signs with empowering images and messages marching in the backyard of our new president gave me a newfound hope that I hadn’t felt for months before. I saw women of all ages and ethnicities marching with homemade signs that read “I march for my daughter, her daughter, and our mother earth”, “we are stronger than fear”, or “little girls with dreams become women with visions.”

I saw a resurgence in feminism.

I believe that after the 2016 election, women saw that hate only divides us, and in the words of the Clinton campaign slogan, we are “stronger together”. Within just one year of the election, not only did women feel empowered, but we also felt the need to empower other women. We were pissed off, needed our voices to be heard and knew that a massive change was needed. The United States rumbled when a record-breaking 117 out of 250 women who ran a campaign were elected into office. Today, not only do the most women in U.S history serve in office, but we are also seeing the highest number of women running for president. Thus far, a total of five women have announced their candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. A powerful woman such as Hillary Clinton broke the glass ceiling by showing the United States that a woman could indeed get far in a presidential election. She emboldened women like Kamala Harris, Kristen Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, and Amy Klobuchar, who are all running for president in 2020, and the 250 women who ran for office in 2018, that our voices are powerful, our thoughts are intelligent, and that we are without a doubt “stronger together”.


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