Feb 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar offers preview of upcoming book

Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks to supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders at a campaign event in Clive, Iowa, on Jan. 31. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) announced Tuesday details of her upcoming memoir, due to be published in May, which publisher Dey Street Books called an "inspiring coming of age story of a refugee."

Why it matters: The 38-year-old freshman Democrat became in 2018 the first Somali-American ever elected to Congress — and she's one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, along with fellow "squad" member Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

Go deeper: Ilhan Omar makes history as first Somali-American elected to Congress

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International Women's Day and the glass ceiling

Data: Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Women running for national and state office may be on track to break the record-setting runs and gains of 2018, as Republicans try to catch up with their Democratic counterparts.

Yes, but: The Super Tuesday results, and Elizabeth Warren's withdrawal, effectively ended any chance that this will be the year a woman wins the presidency. On International Women's Day this weekend, it's worth remembering that the struggle to reach the White House masks a lot of real progress at lower levels.

Slow progress for female world leaders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. has yet to break the presidential glass ceiling, 57 countries worldwide have been led by women since 1960.

The big picture: That year, former Sri Lankan prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the modern world's first female head of state. Finland and New Zealand have led the way in electing women since, with three women leaders each.

Exclusive: Congressmen reintroduce bill to allow members to vote from home districts

A tour operator, wearing a protective mask, gestures as he leads a tour near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 9. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) are reintroducing a 2013 bill that would enable members of Congress to virtually participate in committee hearings and vote remotely on suspension bills from their home districts amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to an advanced copy of the press release obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Congress, which is tasked with governing the country out of the coronavirus crisis, could quickly become a dangerous place for members and staffers, many of whom are over the age of 60 — the age group the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised to stay home as much as possible.