Women in the U.S. Congress 2022

Current Congress
147
(107D, 40R)
27.5% of 535 seats
U.S. Senate
24
(16D, 8R)
24% of 100 seats
U.S. House
123
(91D, 32R)
28.3% of 435 seats
U.S. Delegate
4
(2D, 2R)

U.S. Delegates are non-voting members and are not included in our total counts for women in Congress.

Congresswomen by Race and Ethnicity

Women who self-identify as more than one race/ethnicity are included on CAWP pages for each group with which they identify. We strongly caution against adding totals from each racial/ethnic group should, as it will double count officeholders.

 

Of the 147 women in the Current Congress: 

  • 10 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • 26 identify as Black
  • 15 identify as Latina
  • 2 identify as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian
  • 1 identifies as Middle Eastern/North African 
  • 95 identify as white

In addition, of the 4 women who serve as non-voting delegates: 1 identifies as Asian American/Pacific Islander, 2 identify as Black, 1 identifies as Latina.

Historic Congress
393
(255D, 137R)

The number of women who have served in Congress to date.

3.2% of all members of Congress to date have been women.

  • California has sent more women to Congress than any other state - a total of 47 to date.
  • New York is next with 31 women to date.
  • Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to either the House or the Senate.
U.S. Senate Only
42
(25D, 17R)
U.S. House Only
336
(220D, 116R)

7 (4D, 3R) women have served as non-voting delegates and are not included in our totals.

Both U.S. Senate and U.S. House
16
(11D, 5R)
  • 1916

    Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • 1922

    Rebecca Latimer Felton (D-GA) became the first woman appointed to the Senate, but only served one day.

  • 1964

    Patsy Takemoto Mink (D-HI) became the first woman of color elected to the House.

  • 1978

    Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS) became the first woman elected to the Senate without having previously filled an unexpired Congressional term. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) was the first Democratic woman to do so in 1987.

  • 1992

    Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL) became the first woman of color elected to the Senate.

  • 1998

    Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) became the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to an initial Congressional term. She is now the first openly gay member of the Senate.

  • 1866

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the first woman to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, even though she was not eligible to vote. She ran as an Independent from New York State, receiving 24 votes of 12,000 that were cast.

  • 1916

    Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana became the first woman ever elected to Congress. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1917 to 1919 and again from 1941 to 1942; a pacifist, she was the only lawmaker to vote against U.S. entry into both world wars.

  • 1922

    Rebecca Latimer Felton, a Georgia Democrat, became the first woman appointed to the Senate, but only served one day.

  • 1925

    Representative Mae Ella Nolan (R-CA) became the first woman to chair a congressional committee when, during the 68th Congress, she chaired the Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department.

  • 1932

    Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-AR), appointed in 1931 to fill a vacancy caused by her husband's death, ran for a full term and became the first woman elected to the Senate, where she served two full terms. She was the first woman to chair a Senate committee – the Committee on Enrolled Bills, a minor post.

  • 1948

    Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) became the first woman elected to the Senate without having first been appointed to serve. Smith had first come to Congress when elected to fill her deceased husband's House seat; she went on to be elected to the Senate in her own right. With her election to the Senate, Smith also became the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress. 

  • 1949

    Representative Chase G. Woodhouse (D-CT) was the first woman to hold the position of secretary in the House Democratic Caucus.

  • 1965

    Patsy Takemoto Mink, a Democrat from Hawaii, became the first woman of color and the first woman of Asian-Pacific Islander descent in the U.S. House of Representatives. She served until 1977 and was re-elected in 1990.

  • 1968

    Shirley Chisholm, a New York Democrat, became the first Black woman to serve in Congress. She remained in the House of Representatives until 1982.

  • 1973

    Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (D-CA) became the first woman to give birth while serving in Congress.

  • 1976

    Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) became the first Arab American woman elected to Congress. 

  • 1978

    Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS) was the first woman to have been elected to the Senate without having previously filled an unexpired Congressional term.

  • 1985

    Congresswoman Lynn Morley Martin (R-IL) began the first of two terms as vice chair of the Republican Conference in the House, the first time a woman held an elected position in the congressional party's hierarchy.

  • 1986

    Barbara Ann Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, became the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate without previously filling an unexpired Congressional term.  Combining her Senate service from 1987-2017 with her service in the US House of Representatives from 1977 to 1987, she is the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress.

  • 1987

    Rep. Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) became the first woman to serve as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. 

  • 1989

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, became the first Hispanic woman and first Cuban American to be elected to Congress. She was elected in August 1989 in a special election and continues to serve.

  • 1989

    Representative Barbara Kennelly (D-CT) became the first woman to hold the position of House Democratic chief deputy whip.

  • 1990

    Apart from single-member House delegations, the first all-woman U.S. House delegation was from Hawaii. Representatives Patricia Saiki (R) and Patsy Mink (D) served from 1990 to 1991. They were also the first all-woman of color House delegation.

  • 1992

    Nydia Velasquez, a New York Democrat, became the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress. 

  • 1992

    Carol Moseley Braun, an Illinois Democrat, became the first Black woman and the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S. Senate. She had also been the first Black woman to win a major party Senate nomination. She defeated the incumbent in the primary and won the resulting open seat in the general election. Her term ended in 1999 when she lost her re-election bid.

  • 1994

    Olympia Snowe (R-ME) became the first woman (and the only Republican woman) to have been elected to her State House, State Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) also followed this path to the U.S. Senate, making her the first Democrat to do so.

  • 1995

    Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS) became the first woman to chair a major Senate committee, the Committee on Labor and Human Resources.

  • 1998

    Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, became the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to Congress as a non-incumbent. She was also Wisconsin's first woman in Congress. In 2012, she became the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to the US Senate. 

  • 2001

    Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from New York, the only First Lady ever elected to public office. She won an open seat in a general election.

  • 2001

    Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) became the first woman to serve as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

  • 2001

    Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected by her colleagues as House Democratic Whip, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. Congress.

  • 2001

    Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) became the first woman to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also served as House Minority Whip-at-Large.

  • 2002

    Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) became the first woman to head her party in Congress when she was elected by her colleagues as House Democratic Leader.

  • 2005

    Washington State became the first state to have both a woman governor (Christine Gregoire, D) and two women serving in the U.S. Senate (Patty Murray, D and Maria Cantwell, D). New Hampshire followed suit in 2013. 

  • 2007

    Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House.

  • 2007

    Three congresswomen became the first women of color to chair congressional committees: Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Committee on Ethics; Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Committee on House Administration; and Representative Nydia Velasquez (D-NY), Committee on Small Business.

  • 2007

    Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) becomes the first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • 2012

    Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) became the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress. In 2018, she became the first openly bisexual person elected to the US Senate. 

  • 2012

    Mazie Hirono (D-HI) became the first Asian-Pacific Islander woman — and only the second woman of color — elected to the U.S. Senate.

  • 2013

    New Hampshire became the first state to have an all-female Congressional delegation (Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, and Representatives Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter.) 

  • 2015

    Mia Love (R-UT) became the first Black Republican woman in Congress.

  • 2016

    Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) became the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate.

  • 2016

    Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is both Black and South Asian, became the first South Asian and second Black woman elected to the US Senate.

  • 2018

    Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Deb Haaland (D-NM) became the first Native American women elected to Congress.

  • 2018

    Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.