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Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo with her family.
Yadira Caraveo, daughter of immigrants, represents Colorado. Photo: @YadiraCaraveo.

Women make history in record numbers for the next U.S. Congress.

The number of female representatives is higher than the previous period.

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Alaska became the latest state to release its election results this week, announcing that Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat, will represent the state's House at-large seat for a full term, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski won re-election.

With this addition, there will be 149 women who will be part of the House of Representatives and the Senate, two members more than the record established in the previous period.

Despite the increase, which will be reflected especially in the Chamber with 124 women legislating, the figure is still low, since it only represents a little more than a quarter of Congress.

Diverse representation

Among the new representatives, the historical number of Latinas and Blacks also stands out, who went from 14 to 19 in the first group, and from 26 to 27 in the second. Likewise, more than half of the 22 female freshmen in the House will be women of color.

“27 women who identify as Black and 19 women who identify as Latina or Hispanic will serve in the next legislature. In general, women from ethnic minorities will also break a representation record, with 58 congresswomen. More than a third of all women in the US Congress will be from ethnic minorities,” highlights CNN.

Multicultural congress

“In Colorado, I didn't grow up seeing who I am now. The idea of being the first Latina, that is not only a woman but also a woman of color, serving in Congress, I hope it makes things a little easier for the girls I've cared for in the clinic so that one day they don't have that talking about being the first of something, their candidacy and their ability to be in office is a fact,” said Yadira Caraveo, the first Latina elected to the Colorado Congress by the Democratic party.

Caraveo, the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, who will also be the second doctor to be a voting member of Congress, stressed after her victory that women must work harder to achieve their dreams than their male counterparts.

“It is, unfortunately, something that I have seen throughout my time, both in medicine and in politics, and unfortunately, a challenge that one gets used to, in some ways, but also, in others, it remains painful,” stressed Caraveo.

For her part, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who will become the longest-serving woman in all of Congress, surpassing the record set by former Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, said: My most moving achievement is that the position represents a voice of the working class, which happens to be a woman.

New records

Another record that will be broken in Washington next January is the number of Republican women who will reach Congress, which continues to be less than that of their rival party.

With a total of 42 representatives, where 9 will serve in the Senate and 33 will serve in the House, among the rookies, three Latinas stand out, bringing the number of Hispanic Republicans to five.

“Having diversity of thought and experience is fundamental to our representative democracy. It seems that we are achieving something for the next generation. It's meaningful to me in particular to set that example for my own daughters, for young women,” said Rep.-elect Erin Houchin, who is the first woman to represent her Indiana district.

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