State Legislatures

Facts

Women in State Legislatures 2017

State by state listing and ranking of numbers and percentages of women in state legislative office.


Women in State Legislatures 1975-2016

State by state listing of numbers and percentages of women elected to state legislatures for 1975 through 2014.


Fact Sheet Archive on Women in State Legislatures by Year (1975-2016)

Women Candidates and Winners in State Legislative Races - Historical Summary

Year-by-Year Candidates and Election Results (1996-2016)

Research

Gender Backlash in American Politics?

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Politics and Gender (September 2006) 

The author introduces the idea of a backlash against women's representation, proposes several preliminary hypotheses about a backlash, and discusses ways of testing them.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
State Legislature

“Committee Assignments: Discrimination or Choice?”

by Susan J. Carroll
Book chapter in Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead, edited by Beth Reingold, 2008

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Congress
State Legislature

Commentary on Emmy E. Werner's 1968 Article, "Women in the State Legislatures"

by Susan J. Carroll
Political Research Quarterly (March 2008)

This commentary examines the contributions of Emmy W. Werner's classic 1968 article to the study of women and politics and to knowledge about women in state legislatures, placing the article in the context of its time and highlighting its continuing relevance.
 

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
State Legislature

Gender Pools and Puzzles: Charting a 'Women's Path' to the Legislature

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Politics & Gender 2006, Volume 2 (September)

The “social eligibility pool” stands as one of the most common, and most powerful, explanations for women's underrepresentation in elective office. In this article, Sanbonmatsu revisits the eligibility pool account of women's representation and argues that it has significant shortcomings as a causal explanation. She proposes that scholars direct their attention to how changes occur in beliefs about the types of backgrounds that are thought to be desirable in politicians—the “informal qualifications” for public office. She suggests that scholars work to identify the conditions under which women can take a “women's path” to the legislature from female-dominated occupations.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
State Legislature

Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 1st Edition

Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2005 First Edition, 240 pages 

Gender and Elections offers a systematic, lively, multi-faceted account of the role of gender in the electoral process through the 2004 elections. This volume strikes a balance between highlighting the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2004 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state elections. 

Book
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
Women Voters and the Gender Gap
Women of Color in Politics
Federal Executive
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Increasing Diversity or More of the Same? Term Limits and the Representation of Women, Minorities, and Minority Women in State Legislatures

by Susan J. Carroll and Krista Jenkins 
National Political Science Review 10 (2005): 71-84

This paper examines the question of whether term limits lead to greater diversity among legislators in terms of their gender, race, and ethnicity. Their findings from an analysis of electoral outcomes in states where term limits were in effect in 1998 and 2000 suggest that the answer to the question of whether term limits lead to more diverse legislatures is not straightforward.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Women and Term Limits
Women of Color in Politics
State Legislature

Women in State Government: Historical Overview and Current Trends

by Susan J. Carroll 
Chapter in The Book of the States, edited by The Council of State Governments, 2004

Women have significantly increased their numbers among state government officials over the past several decades. However, despite a recent increase in the number of women governors, women’s progress, especially at the statewide elective and state legislative levels, has slowed. The future for women in state government would seem to depend, at least in part, upon the strength of efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Impact of Women Public Officials
Women Political Appointees
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

"Have Women State Legislators In the United States Become More Conservative?: A Comparison of State Legislators in 2001 and 1988"

by Susan J. Carroll, Atlantis 27:2(2003): 128-139. 

Carroll finds that: Women state legislators in the United States in 2001 are more liberal in their political ideology and policy attitudes than their male colleagues, just as they were in 1988. Nevertheless, a notable change is evident in the ideological predispositions of Republican Party women, especially in the lower houses of the legislatures. Republican women representatives in 2001 are more conservative and more like their male counterparts than they were in the late 1980s.

Article
CAWP Scholar
Research
State Legislature

Do Term Limits Help Women Get Elected?

by Susan J. Carroll and Krista Jenkins
Social Science Quarterly 82 (March 2001)

The authors' analysis suggests that term limits, unaccompanied by efforts to recruit women to run for term-limited seats, may be insufficient to increase the number of women state legislators. 

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Women and Term Limits
State Legislature

“Partisan Dynamics of the Gender Gap among State Legislators”

by Susan J. Carroll
Spectrum: The Journal of State Government (Fall 2002) 

Overall, women state legislators today are more liberal in their political ideology and policy attitudes than their male colleagues. Today’s gender gap is due more to the disproportionate number of Democrats among women legislators. The greatest change over time has taken place among Republican women representatives, who are more conservative and more like their male counterparts. 

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Political Parties
State Legislature

Pages