- Women in the United States Congress
- Women in State Legislatures
- Women in Local Politics
The number of women in politics in the United States is constantly changing. Here is a look at the most recent data on women in politics in the USA.
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In the United States, women have been active in politics since the early days of the republic. In recent years, however, their involvement has increased dramatically. Today, women make up a significant proportion of the American political landscape.
In 2017, women held 20 percent of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 21 percent of seats in the U.S. Senate. Women also held a record number of seats in state legislatures across the country. In fact, women were present in every level of government in the United States in 2017.
While these numbers are encouraging, they are still far from gender parity. Women remain underrepresented in all levels of American politics. Nevertheless, the trends are positive and it is clear that women are playing an increasingly important role in American politics.
Women in the United States Congress
In the United States, women make up 50.8 percent of the population but only 24 percent of the members of Congress. That number rises to 31 percent when including women of color. White men make up 31 percent of the population and control 76 percent of seats in the House of Representatives and 57 percent of seats in the Senate. In state legislatures, women of color make up 6.4 percent of all state legislators, while white men make up 31.7 percent.
Women in the House of Representatives
There are currently 102 women in the House of Representatives, representing 27 percent of the total membership. The number of Congresswomen has increased steadily over the past few decades, but women still remain underrepresented in proportion to their share of the general population.
Of the 102 Congresswomen, 78 are Democrats and 24 are Republicans. The majority of Congresswomen are white (83), followed by black (9), Hispanic (7), Asian American or Pacific Islander (4), and Native American (1). There are also three Muslim women in Congress, all of whom were elected in 2018.
The average age of a Congresswoman is 58, and the median age is 57. The youngest Congresswoman is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is 29 years old. The oldest is Nancy Pelosi of California, who is 78 years old.
Women in the House of Representatives serve on all Committees and in leadership positions. Currently, there are four women Chairing full Committees: Nita Lowey of New York (Appropriations Committee), Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas (Science Committee), Liz Cheney of Wyoming (House Republican Conference), and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut (House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee). Additionally, Kathy Castor of Florida serves as Chairwoman of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida is Chairwoman Emerita of the Democratic National Committee.
Women in the Senate
Currently, there are 26 women serving in the United States Senate. This is the maximum number of women that can serve at one time, as there are 100 total senators. Of these 26 women, two are Independents and 24 belong to either the Democratic or Republican party. The first woman to be elected to the Senate was RebeccaLatimer Felton from Georgia, who served for only one day in 1922.
The current female senators range in age from 37 to 84 years old, with the average age being 61.5 years old. The states with the most female representation in the Senate are California and New York, each with four women senators. The state with the least female representation is Wyoming, which has zero women in its senate delegation.
There are several committees in the Senate on which women have chairmanships or top rankings. These include the Committees on Appropriations; Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs; Rules & Administration; Energy & Natural Resources; Environment & Public Works; Small Business & Entrepreneurship; and Veterans’ Affairs. Additionally, there is an all-female Democratic delegation from Hawaii known as the “Fab Four”.
Women in State Legislatures
Since the early 1970s, the number of women in state legislatures has risen steadily. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, as of 2020, women make up 26.8% of all state legislators in the United States. This is the highest percentage of women in state legislatures in US history.
Women in the California State Legislature
Women have only been allowed to serve in the California State Legislature since 1911, and it wasn’t until 1959 that the number of women serving reached double digits. In the almost 100 years since women have been appointed to the Legislature, their numbers have increased slowly but steadily. As of 2019, women make up just over 30% of the 120 members of the California State Legislature.
The first woman elected to the California State Legislature was Catherine M. Neill of San Francisco, who was elected to the Assembly in 1912. In 1918, Hattiebeth Enloe became the first woman elected to the State Senate. Today, there are 28 women serving in the Assembly and 10 in the Senate.
Women have made great strides in politics in recent years, but they still face many challenges. Women are often underrepresented in politics, and they face discrimination and bias both inside and outside of the political arena. Nevertheless, women continue to play an important role in our political system and their numbers are slowly but surely increasing.
Women in the New York State Legislature
New York has a history of electing women to statewide office and to the U.S. Congress, but women have been underrepresented in the state Legislature. In 2018, women made up 39 percent of the Legislature, which is still below the national average of 24 percent. But it was a record high for New York, and an increase from 2017, when women made up 37 percent of the Legislature.
Women in Local Politics
Women have always been active in local politics in the United States. In fact, they were the first to hold public office in the US. Women have always been a big part of the political process in the US, from campaigning and running for office to working in the government.
Women in the Los Angeles City Council
The Los Angeles City Council is the governing body of the city of Los Angeles, California. The council is composed of fifteen members elected from single-member districts for four-year terms, with a term limit of two terms (eight years) for each council member. The president of the council and president pro tempore are chosen by the council at the first regular meeting after June 30 in odd-numbered years. An assistant president pro tempore is appointed by the president. The current president of the Los Angeles City Council is Herb Wesson and the current assistant president pro tempore is Nury Martinez. The chief executive officer for the city is also selected by the council.
Women in the New York City Council
The New York City Council is the lawmaking body of the city of New York. It has 51 Council members, each representing a geographic district. The Chair of the Council presides over all meetings of the Council and is also considered the head of the New York City legislative branch. The current Chair is Corey Johnson, who represents Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan. As of January 2020, 36 out of 51 seats in the New York City Council are held by women. This is a historic high, as women have only held 29% of seats in the Council since it was first established in 1898.
After analyzing the data, it is clear that the number of women actively involved in politics in the USA is significantly lower than the number of men. Although there has been an increase in the number of women involved in politics in recent years, there is still a long way to go before gender parity is reached.