A record number of women are running for election to the US Congress this year, in what is seen as a backlash against the presidency of Donald Trump.

Voters in California will go to the polls in the state's primary election on Tuesday with a large number of first-time women candidates on the ballot.

It will set the scene for November's mid-term elections, in which Democrats hope to wrestle control of Congress from Trump's Republican party.

Across the country, more than double the number of women who ran for Congress in 2016 have joined the race this year.

Image: Katie Hill said Mr Trump's election prompted an 'awakening'

Katie Hill, who is running as a Democrat in a seat held by a Republican for the last 25 years, said: "I definitely think Donald Trump in that election was an awakening for us.

"I think it made us realise our status in society is more delicate than a lot of us realised.

"Now we've got this trigger of 'we can do this' and 'we have an obligation to do this' there's more of an unwillingness to sit by when we're represented by less than 20% of the people in Congress being women.

"We are 51% of the population and there is something fundamentally wrong with that and we are never going to get to true equality unless we have equal representation."

The women's march which followed Mr Trump's election
Image: The women's march which followed Mr Trump's election

The movement to encourage more women to run for office was evident on the day after Mr Trump's inauguration, when the women's march on Washington drew the largest single-day protest crowd in US history.

The new president's past comments and actions towards women mobilised a campaign which has since received renewed impetus from the #MeToo movement.

Dr Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a professor in gender studies at the University of Southern California, said: "We are two years away from the 100 year anniversary of women getting the right to vote in this country.

"I think if you talked to any of the suffragettes back then in 1920 they would never have anticipated if we would still be talking 98 years later about how interesting and extraordinary it is that women are running for office in such numbers.

"I think they would've hoped for bigger change on a quicker timeframe."

Katie Porter is contesting a seat in Orange County
Image: Katie Porter is contesting a seat in Orange County, California

That frustration – the last such surge in women candidates was in 1992 – is shared by many of those running.

"I think it sad frankly that we apparently get one Year of the Woman every 30 years," said Democrat Katie Porter.

More from Donald Trump

She is contesting a seat in Orange County, California, that will be critical if Democrats are to take back the House of Representatives.

"I think we need to elect more women and keep electing more women not just in 2018 but going forward year after year."

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