In the face of looming anxieties surrounding Donald Trump’s inauguration, it’s easy to forget that important steps forward are still being made in 2017. Like the swearing in of Ilhan Omar, who is not only the first female Muslim legislator, but also the first Somali-American to enter the House of Representatives.
Omar was sworn in on a huge copy of the Quran on Tuesday after being elected to serve her district in Minnesota. She is just the second legislator in America’s history to be sworn in on the Quran.
The 115th US Congress is the most diverse congress in America’s history, although 80 per cent of its members are still white and male.
Reactions to pictures taken on Tuesday as she was sworn into congress illustrate just how integral diversity in government is to reflect the broad spectrum of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds of Americans today. Many women and people of colour celebrated her election to congress on social media.