Congress

Current and historical fact sheets, graphics, research reports, and other information about women running for and serving in Congress.







  • Reaching Higher: Black Women in American Politics 2021



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    This report from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the status of Black women in American politics as of September 2021. 

    Report
    Research
    Women of Color in Politics
    Federal Executive
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local






  • Measuring Success: Women in 2020 Legislative Elections



    by Kelly Dittmar

    Measuring women’s electoral success means placing 2020 outcomes into historical and contemporary context. That is the work done in this report, where CAWP breaks down 2020 congressional and state legislative data by gender, race, and party; puts this data into historical context, with specific comparisons to the 2018 election; analyzes women candidates’ paths to office and strategies for success; and looks ahead to what 2020 election outcomes mean for the future of women in American politics.

    Report
    Research
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Candidate Recruitment
    Women of Color in Politics
    State Legislature
    Congress






  • By the Numbers: Black Women in the 117th Congress



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D. 

    This update from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the number of Black women in the U.S. Congress at the start of 2021. 

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women of Color in Politics
    Congress






  • Black Women in American Politics 2019



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    This update from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the status of Black women in American politics in the fall of 2019.

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women of Color in Politics
    State Legislature
    Local
    Statewide Executive
    Congress






  • Unfinished Business: Women Running in 2018 and Beyond



    by Kelly Dittmar
    Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, 2019

    Gender disparities in American politics were not upended in a single cycle, but the 2018 election marked sites of progress as well as persistent hurdles for women candidates. Evaluating the 2018 election in the context of both past and present offers key insights into the gendered terrain that candidates will navigate in 2020 and beyond. In this report, CAWP combines its unmatched data with a review of the latest research on gender, candidacy, and representation to analyze an unprecedented year for women in American politics, identify sites for both destruction and durability of barriers to women, and offer a guide for gender and

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress






  • A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters



    by Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll
    Oxford University Press, 2018, 272 pages

    Drawing on personal interviews with over three-quarters of the women serving in the 114th Congress (2015-17), the authors analyze how these women navigate today's stark partisan divisions, and whether they feel effective in their jobs. Through first-person perspectives, A Seat at the Table looks at what motivates these women's legislative priorities and behavior, details the ways in which women experience service within a male-dominated institution, and highlights why it matters that women sit in the nation's federal legislative chambers. It describes the strategies women employ to overcome any challenges they confront as well as the

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    Congress






  • The Chisholm Effect: Black Women in American Politics 2018



    By Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    This update from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the status of Black women in American politics at the start of 2018.

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women of Color in Politics
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local






  • Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 4th Edition



    Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Loyola Marymount University
    Cambridge University Press, 2018 Fourth Edition, 319 pages 

    The fourth edition of Gender and Elections highlights the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2012 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

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






  • Women Candidates in Election 2018: One Year from Election Day



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    Has there been a “surge” of women running for office after election 2016? With one year until the 2018 elections, we took a look at the numbers of women candidates to assess the degree to which media narratives about, and anecdotal evidence of, women’s heightened political engagement have translated into bids for office. In comparing the numbers of women running this cycle with the number at this point in previous cycles, we find that there are more women running for office in 2018, but that the increases in candidacies vary by level of office. 

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Statewide Executive
    Congress






  • Black Women in American Politics: 2017 Status Update



    By Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D. 

    This update highlights the key wins for women of color overall – and Black women in particular - in election 2016. The data demonstrate that, even with the gains Black women saw at some levels of office in 2016, there is more work to do to ensure that Black women’s representation in elected office reflects their presence in American society. 

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women of Color in Politics
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local