Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way for Women in Politics

Geraldine Ferraro, the country’s first woman to be nominated to the vice presidency in 1984, died at Massachusetts General Hospital on March 26, 2011, due to complications from multiple myeloma. She was the first woman to be nominated to any national office by the Democratic or Republican Parties. Without a doubt, Ferraro’s contributions to national politics cannot be denied, especially since she set the foundation for future women to break into national politics. Aside from Geraldine Ferraro, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Condoleeza Rice have cemented themselves as three of the most important women in the history of national politics.

Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011)

In January of 2007, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House. Pelosi previously served as a representative for California, acting as the House Minority Whip and Minority Leader. As far as national politics is concerned, Pelosi held the highest political position of any woman in the country’s history. Her career has been widely publicized and she continues on as the House Minority Leader as of Jan. 3, 2011. Undoubtedly, Pelosi’s political career has been widely successful and will go down in history as one of the biggest accomplishments in politics for women.

Condoleezza Rice (First African-American Woman to be Secretary of State in 2005)

Sure, Condoleezza Rice wasn’t the first woman elected as Secretary of State, but she was the first African-American woman to hold the position. Rice served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009. Before that, she served as the National Security Adviser from 2001 to 2005 and Provost of Stanford University from 1993 to 1999. Rice’s career has been widely publicized, especially during her tenure as Secretary of State during Bush’s presidency. Of course, Rice’s career wasn’t without its criticisms, but her career has been a profound one in our nation’s politics.

Hillary Clinton (Ran for President of the United States in 2008)

Under any measurements, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s career in politics has been wide, varied and successful. Clinton served as a New York senator from 2001 to 2009 and was the first lady of the United States during Bill Clinton’s presidency. In 2008, Hillary unsuccessfully ran for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, a nomination that she nearly won. On top of that, Clinton now serves as the Secretary of State for the United States under President Barack Obama. Clinton has held that position since 2009. Her political career started years ago, but Hillary is still moving along a successful journey in national politics.

Women are very much a part of the nation’s politics

There have been plenty of other widely successful women in national politics since Ferraro’s monumental nomination as vice president. For instance, Sarah Palin was nominated as the Republican vice presidential nominee during the 2008 presidential election. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland is the nation’s longest-serving female senator. Undoubtedly, women will continue to be a large part of the country’s national politics. It won’t be surprising to see the country’s first female president within the next few years. Of course, the women who originally paved the way cannot be forgotten!

For more information, visit Geraldine A. Ferraro (1935-2011), Hillary Clinton BIo, and Famous Women in Politics Throughout History.