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[IWS] CRS: WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS: HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, TABLES, AND DISCUSSION [16 December 2013]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion

Jennifer E. Manning, Information Research Specialist

Colleen J. Shogan, Deputy Director CRS

Ida A. Brudnick, Specialist on the Congress

December 16, 2013

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43244.pdf

[full-text, 25 pages]

 

Summary

A record 102 women currently serve in the 113th Congress: 82 in the House (63 Democrats and 19

Republicans) and 20 in the Senate (16 Democrats and 4 Republicans). One hundred one women

were initially sworn in to the 113th Congress—1 female Republican House Member has since

resigned, and 2 Democratic House Members have been elected. This is higher than the previous

record number of 95 women who were initially elected to the 111th Congress.

 

• The first woman elected to Congress was Representative Jeannette Rankin (RMT,

1917-1919, 1941-1943). The first woman to serve in the Senate was

Rebecca Latimer Felton (D-GA). She was appointed in 1922 and served for only

one day. Hattie Caraway (D-AR, 1931-1945) was the first Senator to succeed her

husband and the first woman elected to a six-year Senate term.

 

• A total of 298 women have served in Congress, 194 Democrats and 104

Republicans. Of these women, 254 (165 Democrats, 89 Republicans) have served

only in the House of Representatives; 34 (21 Democrats, 13 Republicans) have

served only in the Senate; and 10 (8 Democrats, 2 Republicans) have served in

both houses. These figures include 4 non-voting Delegates, 1 each from Guam,

Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

• A total of 33 African American women have served in Congress (1 in the Senate,

32 in the House), including 17 serving in the 113th Congress. Ten Hispanic

women have been elected to the House; nine serve in the 113th Congress. Nine

Asian Pacific American women have served in Congress (8 in the House, 1 in

both the House and Senate), including seven in the 113th Congress.

 

• Nineteen women in the House, and 10 women in the Senate, have chaired

committees. In the 113th Congress, 1 woman chairs a House committee, and 5

women chair Senate committees, with 1 female Senator chairing two committees.

 

This report includes a discussion of the impact of women in Congress as well as historical

information, including the number and percentage of women in Congress over time, means of

entry to Congress, comparisons to international and state legislatures, records for tenure, firsts for

women in Congress, women in leadership, and African American and Asian Pacific American

women in Congress. The report may reflect data at the beginning or end of each Congress, or

changes during a Congress. See the notes throughout the report for information on the currency of

the data.

 

For additional biographical information, including the names, committee assignments, dates of

service, listings by Congress and state, and (for Representatives) congressional districts of the

297 women who have served in Congress, see CRS Report RL30261, Women in the United States

Congress, 1917-2013: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by

State and Congress, by Jennifer E. Manning and Ida A. Brudnick.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Historical Overview of Women in Congress ................................................................................... 2

How Women Enter Congress ........................................................................................................... 8

Women in Congress as Compared with Women in Other Legislative Bodies ................................. 9

International Perspective ........................................................................................................... 9

State-House Perspective .......................................................................................................... 10

Assessing the Effect of Women in Congress ................................................................................. 11

Legislative Behavior ................................................................................................................ 11

Legislative Effectiveness ......................................................................................................... 13

Impact of Women on Policy and Congress .............................................................................. 14

Female Election Firsts in Congress ............................................................................................... 15

Records for Length of Service ....................................................................................................... 16

Women Who Have Served In Both Houses ................................................................................... 16

Women Who Have Served in Party Leadership Positions ............................................................. 16

Women and Leadership of Congressional Committees ................................................................. 18

African American Women in Congress ......................................................................................... 19

Asian Pacific American Women in Congress ................................................................................ 20

Hispanic Women in Congress ........................................................................................................ 20

 

Figures

Figure 1. Number of Women by Congress: 1917-2013 ................................................................... 3

Figure 2. Percentage of Women by Congress: 1917-2013 ............................................................... 3

Figure 3. Women in Congress: Percentage of Members Since 1789 and in the 113th Congress ................................................ 7

Figure 4. Number of Women in the House and Senate by State, District or Territory, 1789 – Present .............................................................. 8

Figure 5. Women’s Initial Entrance to the Senate: Regular Elections, Special Elections, and Appointments to Unexpired Terms ........................ 9

Figure 6. Women in Congress and State Legislatures: 1971-2013 ................................................ 11

 

Tables

Table 1. Number of Women Members of Congress: 1917-Present .................................................. 1

Table 2. Number of Women Members of the 113th Congress .......................................................... 1

Table 3. Total Number of Women in Each Congress: 1917-2013 .................................................... 4

Table 4. Selected Congressional Party Leadership Positions Held by Women ............................. 17

Table 5. Committees Chaired by Women, 113th Congress ............................................................. 19

Table 6. African American Women in the 113th Congress ............................................................. 20

Table 7. Asian Pacific American Women in the 113th Congress .................................................... 20

Table 8. Hispanic Women in the 113th Congress............................................................................ 21

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 21

Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................... 21

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 




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