Ottawa: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Americans on Wednesday for electing a “historic number of women” in midterm elections.
Following the outbreak of the #MeToo movement denouncing sexual assault, and the massive women’s protests against US President Donald Trump, women voters and candidates were poised to play critical roles in the first major election since Trump took power.
A record number of women — 200 Democrats and 60 Republicans — were candidates for the US Congress.
The Center for American Women and Politics projected 96 women won House races, beating the previous record of 85 representatives. But there will be one less woman in the Senate, from 23 to 22, according to projections.
“I want to start by congratulating all the candidates who stepped forward in the US midterms and highlight the historic number of women who were elected in yesterday’s elections,” Trudeau said.
“That’s obviously good news.”
Among the elected women were Sharice Davids in Kansas and Deb Haaland in New Mexico, who became the first Native American women elected to the US Congress.
In the Midwest, onetime Somali refugee Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, shared the historic distinction of becoming the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.
And in New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at 29 years old.
The new Congress, whose term begins in January, will be tasked with ratifying a new continental trade pact with Canada and Mexico after a deal was announced on October 1.
Trudeau when he took office in 2015 had made a point of having gender parity in his caucus, telling a reporter who asked why it was important for him: “Because it’s 2015!”