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Kamala Harris to women: Don’t apologise for your ambition

The first female vice-president of the US also advised women against being consumed by the biological clock, as it was possible to do everything in good time.

June 10, 2021 / 04:31 PM IST
American Vice-President Kamala Harris. (Image: AP)

American Vice-President Kamala Harris. (Image: AP)

“Continue with your ambition and don’t apologise for it. And, continue to believe that you can do whatever you want to do.”

This was US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ advice to women during a recent interview on MSNBC.

Harris said that women should not get anxious about the biological clock. In the long run, career and family goals can both be achieved.

“These things can co-exist,” she said in the context of some women feeling like they had to choose between family and career. “So, what I say then, do not accept false choices that you have to choose either this thing or that thing, that’s a false choice. Don’t accept it.”

Harris added, “I’ve been told many times during my career things from, ‘Oh, you’re too young, it’s not your turn, they’re not ready for you, no one like you has done it before’.

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“I’ve heard all those things many times over the course of my career, but I don’t listen. And I would encourage anyone who’s been told that, whatever their gender, to not listen, because again, don’t be encumbered by the inability of others to see the potential of who you are.”

Harris said women had a right to expect paid leave when taking care of family.

“You have a right to expect that you will be seen in the full dimension of who you are and your responsibilities should be supported,” she said. “You have a right to expect paid family leave when you need to take care of your children or your elderly parents.”

Harris, who feels the pandemic has exerted greater pressure on women as they juggle family and work, had earlier said she had rejection for breakfast.

“Let me just tell you, I eat ‘no’ for breakfast, so I would recommend the same,” Harris had said. “It’s a hearty breakfast.”
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