Kamala Harris becomes US’ first female, Black and south Asian vice president

"I’m here today because of the women who came before me"

Kamala Harris has become the first female, Black and south Asian vice president of the United States.

Harris was sworn in shortly before Joe Biden officially became the 46th president of the US at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. today (January 20).

Ahead of the ceremony, Harris shared a video in which she paid tribute to “the women who came before me”.

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In a separate tweet, she promised that “a new chapter begins today” and said she would serve in her new role “for the people – always”.

“To the woman most responsible for my presence here today: my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts,” Harris said in the clip. “She believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible.”

The vice president also spoke of “the generations of women – Black women, Asian women, White, Latina, Native American women – who throughout our nation’s history, have paved the way for this moment”.

“Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, and liberty, and justice for all,” she continued. “Including the Black women who are often – too often – overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”

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Harris went on to thank “all the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century”, adding: “I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision to see what can be, unburdened by what has been.

“I stand on their shoulders,” she concluded.

Harris’ late mother was Indian-born while her father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica. The new vice president was born in Oakland, California in 1964.

Making his first official speech as president today, Joe Biden said that “democracy has prevailed” in the US.

“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” he told the crowd.

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