In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman from a major political party in U.S. history to run for president in her bid against Donald Trump. Her narrow defeat ignited even more hope that the next barrier for women would soon be broken.
The possibility of a woman president has only continued to grow since then, proven by the excitement about the upcoming 2020 election.
To date, there are six women, out of 25 total candidates, who have launched presidential campaigns.
In case you’ve been caught up in the buzz around Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, we’ve gathered the 411 on our six female contenders and their platforms, so you can enter this upcoming voting season informed and excited to enact change.
Candidate: Elizabeth Warren
Current occupation: U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
- Strengthen the middle class by levying an Ultra-Millionaire Tax on America’s 75,000 richest families to fund universal child care, student loan debt relief, and Medicare for all.
- Stop political and economic corruption by closing lobbying loopholes, banning senators and congressmen from trading stocks and requiring all candidates running for federal office to make their tax returns public.
- Criminal justice reforms such as decriminalizing marijuana, banning private prisons and combating racial inequalities in the system.
- She has a plan for everything; no really, she does.
- Warren grew up in a middle-class family in Oklahoma.
- She earned a debate scholarship to attend college but then dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart at age 19.
- She went back to school while pregnant with her daughter Amelia, and then enrolled into a public law school.
- Warren worked as a law professor at various schools across the country, including Harvard University, for more than 30 years.
- Prior to running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, she served as an assistant to President Barack Obama and special adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury.
- Warren ran for U.S. Senate in 2013 and has been serving its senior role since then.
Candidate: Kamala Harris
Current occupation: U.S. Senator from California
- Champion women’s rights: Protect the Roe v. Wade ruling, enforce equal pay by requiring corporations to prove they’re paying male and female worker counterparts equally and levying fines if they’re not.
- Increase pay for the average school teacher in America by $13,500.
- Gun control: Ban the importation of AR-15 style assault weapons, make it harder for domestic abusers to purchase a gun and mandate comprehensive federal background checks.
- Have Medicare for all while still keeping private insurance as supplemental coverage for Americans.
- She asks a lot of tough questions.
- Harris was born in Oakland, California to immigrant parents; her mother, a breast cancer scientist, is from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and her father, a Stanford University economics professor, is from Jamaica.
- She spent her teenage years living in Québec with her mother and younger sister after her parents divorced.
- She graduated from Howard University and earned her law degree from the University of California.
- She began her law career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases, and then spent two terms as District Attorney of San Francisco, starting in 2003.
- She is the second African-American woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, and the first African-American and first woman to serve as Attorney General of the state of California.
Candidate: Tulsi Gabbard
Current occupation: U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district and a Major in the Army National Guard.
- Environmental issues: Advocate for mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, and invest in green energy infrastructure.
- Foreign policy reform: End regime change wars and modern nuclear arms race.
- Universal health care and Medicare for all.
- Gabbard was born on Tutuila Island and grew up in Hawaii, spending a lot of her time surfing.
- Always the environmentalist, she co-founded the Healthy Hawaii Coalition as a teen, and wanting to make a bigger impact, ran for Hawaii State House of Representatives and was elected at just 21 years old.
- After 9/11, she enlisted in the Army National Guard and in 2004, volunteering to be deployed in Iraq.
- Having seen firsthand the human costs of war, Gabbard ran for Congress when she returned home, determined to advocate for more peace. She was elected to Congress at age 31 in 2012.
Candidate: Kirsten Gillibrand
Current occupation: U.S. Senator from New York
- Combat climate change by supporting the Green New Deal, creating a green jobs economy, protecting clean air and water, and offering tax incentives for innovative solutions.
- Universal health care that includes comprehensive mental and reproductive health for women.
- Comprehensive immigration reform and create clear pathways to citizenship.
- Gillibrand was born and raised in upstate New York to attorney parents.
- She graduated from Dartmouth College and the UCLA School of Law.
- She spent some time working in private law practice, as well as a law clerk for Judge Roger Miner on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Albany.
- While working in private practice, she sometimes took on pro bono cases defending abused women and housing tenants dealing with unsafe living conditions.
- As a mother of a two-year old son, Gillibrand first ran for Congress in 2006 and was elected to represent New York’s 20th congressional district. She changed gears slightly by running for U.S. Senate in 2009 and has since been re-elected twice.
- Prior to running for public office, Gillibrand served as special counsel to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo during the last year of the Clinton administration.
Candidate: Amy Klobuchar
Current occupation: U.S. Senator from Minnesota
- A trillion-dollar infrastructure plan which includes repairing and replacing roads, highways, and bridges and modernizing seaports and airports, and investing in green energy.
- Adjust the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, closing loopholes that encourage U.S. companies to move jobs and operations overseas,
- Connect every household to the internet by 2022
- Make community college free, expand Pell grants and make it easier for people to pay back their student loans
- Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar grew up with a sports writer father and a school teacher mother, until they divorced when she was 15.
- She graduated from Yale University and then went off to law school at the University of Chicago.
- Her career began in corporate law, specializing in telecommunications regulations, and then in 1998, was elected Hennepin County attorney and re-elected in 2002.
- Her first experience as a political advocate occurred when she gave birth and was forced to leave the hospital 24 hours later, despite her daughter having been born with a condition that did not allow her to swallow.
- Klobuchar appeared before the Minnesota State Legislature calling for a bill that would guarantee new mothers a 48-hour hospital stay. Minnesota passed the bill and President Clinton later made the policy federal law.
- Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006, becoming Minnesota’s first elected female U.S. Senator, and then reelected in 2012 and 2018.
Candidate: Marianne Williamson
Current occupation: American author, lecturer and activist.
- Immigration reforms that include a full path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who do not have serious criminal backgrounds and increasing border security intelligently through electronic surveillance and more patrol agents, but rejecting a wall.
- A $200 billion to $500 billion plan of reparations for slavery, disbursed over 20 years and handled by a council of African-American leaders who would determine educational and economic projects to fund.
- Streamline the VA system and provide transitional assistance for veterans.
- Williamson was born in Houston, Texas to a homemaker mother and immigration lawyer father.
- She attended Pomona College for two years and then began a self-study journey on non-denominational spirituality and began lecturing on her learned principles in the 19
- In 1992, she published her first book, “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracle,” and was subsequently featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
- Williamson has published 12 other books on spirituality throughout her career and has been an active supporter of nonprofits and charities for people living with life-changing illnesses such as AIDS.