WILMINGTON: Kamala Harris delivered her first speech as US vice president-elect on Saturday night in an all-white suit, paying homage to suffragettes of the 20th century who worked to get women the right to vote in the United States.
She entered the stage to the song “Work That” by Mary J. Blige, wearing the all-white suit and donning the black mask. She has broken many glass barriers by becoming the first woman and Indian American to be elected as the US vice president.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said to cheers outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. “Every little girl that’s watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States.
On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
“All the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century – 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act and now in 2020 with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued their fight for the fundamental right to vote and be heard,” Harris said Saturday.
According to USA Today, women in Congress made a point of wearing suffragette white during President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union speeches.
Last year, the Democratic Women’s Caucus in the House organised the effort. The colour choice honours the women’s suffrage movement that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which granted women the right to vote.
“Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been. And I stand on their shoulders. And what a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country and select a woman as his vice president,” she added.
The collar of Harris’ suit may also have been symbolic as pussy bow, a floppy and flouncy bow around the collar of the shirt, made first made fashionable by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was two years ago being worn across Sweden as a sign of protest, USA Today reported.