Hillary Clinton Isn't The Only Reason This Democratic Convention Is History-Making For Women
The Democratic National Convention electrified the country Tuesday when, for the first time in 240 years, a major political party nominated a woman to be President of the United States. Hillary Clinton's historic nomination should be a moment of joy for women, but even more exciting and promising is the inclusion of women throughout the rest of the convention, especially women of color. This DNC is historic in more ways than one — it's more than just a celebration of Clinton's nomination, but a celebration of the storied role of women and minorities in the Democratic Party.
Minority women are involved in this convention in groundbreaking proportions: From the Convention Committee CEO Leah Daughtry to the convention chair Representative Marcia Fudge to the dozens of female speakers, many of whom are minorities. For the past two days, minority women have had a national stage to discuss the issues that mean the most to them: immigration, gun violence, healthcare, education. There is no substitute for giving an underrepresented group the opportunity to express themselves to an audience of that magnitude, and that inclusion of minority women will build upon itself in the future.
Seeing women of nearly every race and ethnicity take the stage has a profound impact on the millions of women and girls who are watching the convention across the country and the world. When women are represented by women in politics, they have a higher interest and participation rate in politics themselves. They also gain a higher sense of political efficacy, their own estimation of their power to impact change, and political competence, their concept of their own political skill. Basically, when women see other women in politics, they want to do it too, and they believe in themselves as well.
And granted, the group of female Democratic representatives that took the stage with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was still a bit racially homogenous, but the ethnic composition of the convention speakers and audience proves without a doubt that that homogeneity will change. The Democratic Party looks like the United States, and as the most educated generation of female minorities ever rises to political prominence, the party leadership will increasingly reflect that demographic.
This year's DNC proves that the Democratic Party is doubling down on its commitment to minority women's' issues and inclusion, thereby ensuring its future is tied to their success. For the first time in its history, the party is not fighting for, but truly fighting with women and minorities to improve lives all across the country. If you needed a sign that the Democratic Party was worth fighting for, this is it.