I spent some time today hanging out on www.womenincongress.house.gov. You can kind of guess, if you are really clever, what that website is about. (BTW, all the information listed below is from there. I’m no plagiarizer.*)
No doubt some of you are thinking I already know this stuff. Yes, this should be basic information, and yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know it. So if you’re like me, and you haven’t given much thought recently to the dearth of women in politics, here’s some numbers to make you think: Hey, I have a vagina! More than half of the world does too! I should get involved!
There are 17 women, out of 100 possible spots, currently serving in the Senate.
(Of those 17, 12 are Democrats and 5 are Republicans.)
There are 78 women, out of 435 possible spots, currently serving in the House of Representatives.
(Of those 78, 54 are Democrats and 24 are Republicans.)
In total, there are 95 women, out of a possible 535 spots, currently serving in Congress.
That means women make up roughly 17% of Congress.
I’m not great at numbers (okay, I’m terrible), but I *think* there might be room for more women here. Just ten years ago, there were 76 women in congress – which means if we want to keep progressing at our current rate of 25%, we need to add 24 female members to Congress in the next 10 years. Get going, double Xers!
*I feel obliged to note that, in an attempt to fact-check myself, I encountered FOUR different sets of numbers regarding women in the House of Representatives. The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) reports 73 women, This Nation reports 76 women and the Congressional Research Service reports 75 women. Fox News agreed with my original source, but differed on the number of Democrats to Republicans (53 to 25). If anyone can tell me the ACTUAL NUMBER, I would be delighted to report this!