By Denise Koch

“I want to congratulate you on the historic nature of your nomination.” Those words from Vice President Mike Pence to Senator Kamala Harris during Wednesday night’s debate resonate.

Not just because it was a polite and generous thing to say, but because of the historic nature of  Harris’ nomination to hold the second highest job in the land cannot be, should not be overlooked.

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Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic vice presidential nominee, listens during the U.S. vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Photographer: Kim Raff/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This, according to our Governor Larry Hogan is the “Year of the Woman.”

We celebrate in 2020 the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

The 19th amendment was ratified in August 1920 after over 70 years of sacrifice, struggle, protest and imprisonment by thousands of women and men. Our country is 244 years young. Women have only been able to participate in its democracy for 100 of those years. And Kamala Harris is only the 4th woman to ever run for either Vice President or President. No woman has ever won either office.

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I remember, in 1984, the shock and excitement when, for the first time ever, Walter Mondale nominated Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, a woman, as his running mate. And I remember the insults, the patronization and the attacks she endured.

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, speaks to members of the media in the spin room after the third U.S. presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.  Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Then, 24 years later, Sarah Palin ran with John McCain. It only took 12 years for Kamala Harris’ ‘historic’ nomination. Many, of course, are also making note of the fact she’s the first African American and South Asian woman to EVER be so nominated. That, too, is ‘historic’.

For me, and for the other 51 percent of women in these United States, I just hope last night her presence on that debate stage was a reminder of how far we’ve come and how very far we still have to go for full and equal representation.

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No matter how you view it, it was definitely a fascinating way to celebrate “The Year of the Woman!”