Our next spotlight for Women’s History Month is Senator Tammy Duckworth. Sen. Duckworth is a retired lieutenant colonel of the Army National Guard representing the state of Illinois. In 2004, while piloting a US Army helicopter in the Iraq War, Sen. Duckworth was severely injured when a rocket-propelled grenade struck her helicopter. As a result of injuries sustained in this attack, both of her legs were amputated.
Sen. Duckworth’s elections to first the US House of Representatives and then the US Senate came with many firsts: she is the first double amputee in the Senate, first Thai American woman elected to Congress, first woman with a disability elected to Congress, and the first senator to give birth while in office. She also joins Senator Mazie Hirono and Vice President Kamala Harris as the second of three Asian American women to serve in the US Senate.
Throughout her tenures as a Representative and a Senator, Duckworth has worked to preserve the Americans With Disabilities Act and advance the issues of disability rights, as well as women’s rights. When she gave birth to her child in 2018, she introduced Senate Resolution 463, which changed the Senate rules so that senators can bring children under one year old to the Senate floor during votes. This led to yet another first, as her daughter became the first baby on the Senate floor.
Sen. Duckworth continues to serve in the US Senate, sponsoring 77 bills in the 116th Congress. She is a prolific & determined fighter for disability rights & women’s rights, and her work in the Senate serves as ground-breaking representation for people of so many different marginalized populations.
You can read more about Sen. Tammy Duckworth from Wikipedia at this link.