Why women wore white at the State of the Union

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In a stunning display of solidarity during the State of the Union address, female Democrats wore white – a stark contrast from the sea of dark suits in the House of Representatives.

The white trouser suits, power dresses, hats, shawls and scarves were designed to act as a tribute to the female politicians who came before them – and to acknowledge their own achievements.

It also illustrated the growing gender divide in Congress, as Democrats generally elect far more women than Republicans.



Why women wore white at the State of the Union



Trump's State of the Union highlights

They wore white because it is a colour that has been long associated with the suffragette movement – representing purity.

Other colours worn by British suffragettes during the early 1900s were green, representing hope, and purple, symbolising dignity.

Following on from the midterm elections in November, there are now 127 female politicians in Congress – 102 in the House of Representatives and 25 senators – 23.7% of the total. The majority of them are Democrats.

Why women wore white at the State of the Union
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The women stood out in a sea of dark suits

As well as highlighting female representation, the attire was a nod to Mr Trump’s perceived lack of action over sexual abuse within his party.

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During his address, the president acknowledged the number of women in newly created jobs last year, which led to one of the most memorable moments during the event.

The women leapt to their feet to cheer and high-five each other, which led to the rest of the House rising to clap them.

Why women wore white at the State of the Union
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Democratic women wore white at the State of the Union speech

As Mr Trump looked pleased with himself, and a little bit surprised, he said: “You weren’t supposed to do that.”

The president then reflected on how more women were serving in Congress than ever before – one century after women were given the right to vote.

Democratic women then started chanting “U-S-A”, and were backed up by their male colleagues and some Republicans.



Why women wore white at the State of the Union



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Among the women in white was 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also wore white last month when she was sworn into office.

She brought along a guest, Ana Maria Archila, who confronted senator Jeff Flake after announcing he would vote for Brett Kavanaugh in a now viral video.

Why women wore white at the State of the Union
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also wore white when she was sworn into office last month

Two male Democrats, Dean Phillips and Boby Rush, wore white jackets in solidarity and other men wore white ribbons in support.

Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her approval, simply saying: “What a wonderful sight this is.”