The women who would be president of America

New generation: These are the three current front-runners to challenge Donald Trump.

Four Democratic women, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Tulsi Gabbard, have so far made it clear they will stand for America’s highest office. And there may be more…

“The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values,” Kamala Harris declared on Monday as she addressed American voters. “That’s why I’m running for president of the United States.”

The daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, the senator’s election would be truly historic. She would become the first woman, the first person of Asian background and the first African-American woman to be president.

But before Harris can take her own shot, she must win the Democratic primary. This is the vote that determines which candidate will be selected to battle President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.

Already, this year’s race is breaking records. So far, four women are expected to launch election campaigns — the first time in history that more than a one woman has competed for the Democratic nomination.

Among them is senator and former Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren. “It’s time for women to go to Washington and fix our broken government,” she has declared.

Another candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand, has pledged to place women’s rights at the centre of her campaign.

Last year’s midterm elections saw 116 women elected to Congress, the greatest number in history. But across the world, only 23 countries currently have female heads of state.

Is America ready for a female leader of its own?

Glass ceiling

There is a “game that’s being played to keep women in their place,” said Hillary Clinton after her loss to Trump. The United States has never elected a female president. Could this really change in 2020?

Much depends on how voters respond to Trump’s campaign. Nobody expected him to win in 2016, but he proved all the doubters wrong. Do you think he could be elected again? Why do you think he appeals to voters?

You Decide

  1. Would you vote for Kamala Harris?

Activities

  1. Imagine you were running for president of the United States. What three promises would you make during your election campaign? Write down your ideas and share them with the class.

Some People Say...

“My mother used to tell me, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things. Make sure you are not the last.’”

Kamala Harris

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Harris’s main election policies are likely to include action on civil rights and tax cuts for the middle classes. She has also played down her racial background and the importance of identity politics.
What do we not know?
If Harris will end up running against Trump — there are several other strong contenders. We do not even know if the Democratic nominee will be a woman.

Word Watch

Immigrants
Her mother immigrated from India to become a doctor, and her Jamaican father became an economics professor at Stanford University.
Selected
It is a very open field at the moment. Currently, eight people are definitely running, with a further six expected to join them.
23 countries
They are: Germany, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Switzerland, Norway, Malta, Croatia, Namibia, Nepal, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Estonia, Serbia, Singapore, New Zealand, Iceland, Romania, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Ethiopia and Georgia.

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