Women worldwide had expected to wake up this morning to a brand new reality—one where the most powerful country in the world is led by a woman. But that will not happen. Donald Trump clinched a stunning upset victory in the U.S. presidential election, handing defeat to Hillary Clinton.
Instead, women are presented with a circumstance they know all too well; one where an experienced woman has lost out to a less-qualified man. Beyond putting the first woman in the White House, the campaign—with its misogynist and sexist undertones—had turned into a referendum on gender. If that’s truly the case, it’s easy to feel as though women came up way short in this round—not because Clinton lost, but because Trump won.
Down ballot, there were several triumphs by women running for Congress. One of those winners, California’s Kamala Harris, a Democrat born of Jamaican and Indian parents, will become the first black woman to serve in the upper chamber in nearly two decades. Early this morning, she offered some advice to supporters as Trump’s path to victory became real. Her remarks were clearly partisan in nature, but they also apply to the ongoing fight for gender equality. “We must not despair. We must not be overwhelmed or throw up our hands,” she said, “It is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are!”