The recent elections were a milestone for women in high-level office; when the 113th Congress convenes in January it will include more than 100 women, the highest number in US history.
Of the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, women will hold only 19 percent.
In the Senate, voters supported all six female incumbents seeking reelection. They will join 5 new female senators—4 Democrats and 1 Republican—including the first openly gay and first Asian-American senators, for a grand total of 20 women! Women also reached record numbers in the House, where 81 will serve, including 2 military veterans and the first Hindu-American member of Congress.
Of those 81 members, 2 will come from a history-making state: New Hampshire has become the first to elect an all-female congressional delegation, and that is in addition to its female governor.
Since Political Parity’s inception in 2009, we’ve seen incremental achievements toward our goal of doubling the number of women at the highest levels of US government by 2022. While we must take a moment to applaud the tireless and far-reaching work of the organizational leaders, candidates, and activists responsible for the progress made in 2012, we also need to recognize we have much left to do. The recruitment process for 2014 begins now. Let’s continue to work together to propel women into high-level office.
Related Press Coverage
A number of media reports highlighted the role of women candidates in the 2012 elections. The following were among the most informative.
Women Make History, for Now
New York Times, November 13, 2012
In New Hampshire, a Retail Political Culture That’s Great for Women
The Atlantic, November 9, 2012
How a Record Number of Women Won Senate Seats
US News & World Report, November 8, 2012
Women gain wider access to power
CNN, November 7, 2012
The New Faces of the 113th Congress
National Journal, November 5, 2012