Congress

Current and historical fact sheets, graphics, research reports, and other information about women running for and serving in 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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local
  • Representation Matters: Women in the U.S. Congress

    by Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, Susan J. Carroll, Debbie Walsh, and Catherine Wineinger
    Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2017, 56 pages.

    This CAWP report takes stock of the experiences, perspectives, approaches, and influence of women in the U.S. Congress. Drawing upon the CAWP Study of Women in the 114th Congress, entailing original interviews with 83 of the 108 women who served as Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in the 114th Congress (2015-2016), it shows that women members on both sides of the aisle very much believe that their presence and their voices matter. The interviews provide considerable evidence of women's achievements despite the overall environment of gridlock and party polarization in which the women in Congress operate.

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Political Parties
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    Congress
  • Candidates Matter: Gender Differences in Election 2016

    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    We looked at gender and party differences in candidate numbers and success in election 2016 to better understand why women made so little progress in representation. Our data demonstrates, consistent with research to date, that there appears to be no consistent gender disparity in candidate win rates; the real gender disparities exist in the proportions of women and men running at each phase of the electoral process. These conclusions are consistent across party, though the dearth of women candidates is particularly acute in the Republican party. 

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Candidate Recruitment
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
  • Women in the 115th Congress

    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    In 2017, 104 (78D, 26R) women hold seats in the U.S. Congress, comprising 19.4% of the 535 members; 21 (16D, 5R) women (21%) serve in the U.S. Senate and 83 (62D, 21R) women (19.1%) serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Political Parties
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
  • #WomenRun2016: U.S. House Outlook

    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    What will the U.S. House of Representatives look like in 2017? Combining CAWP data with race ratings from the Cook Political Report reveals that women may well reach a new high in numerical representation in the 115th House, but that outcome relies upon favorable breaks in the most competitive races. Moreover, the most positive outcomes in 2016 are likely to come for Democratic women candidates, who are best situated to take new seats, while Republican women are likely to see a net loss in their ranks.

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
  • #WomenRun2016: U.S. Senate Outlook

    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    While this year saw a record number of women filing for Senate races, November’s ballots won’t offer a record number of women nominees. Still, depending on how the most competitive races of the cycle break on November 8th, we may see a net increase in the number of women serving in the U.S. Senate in January 2017.

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
  • Voices. Votes. Leadership. The Status of Black Women in American Politics 2015

    By the Center for American Women and Politics for Higher Heights Leadership Fund, 2015
    Authored by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University


    This comprehensive report provides a historical outline of Black women’s struggle for political representation. It discusses the current landscape of political leadership for Black women across the country and across levels of office, their growing political influence, and the outlook for Black women's participation in the 2016 elections. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of Black women in politics and government.

    Report
    Research
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local
  • The Status of Black Women in American Politics 2014

    By the Center for American Women and Politics for Higher Heights Leadership Fund, 2014
    Authored by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

    This comprehensive report provides a historical outline of black women’s struggle for political representation and discusses the current landscape of political leadership for black women across the country as well as their growing political influence. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of black women in politics and government.

    Report
    Research
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    State Legislature
    Local
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
  • The Changing Face of Representation: The Gender of U.S. Senators and Constituent Communications

    by Kim L. Fridkin and Patrick J. Kenney, Arizona State University
    University of Michigan Press, 2014, 256 pages

    This book is part of the CAWP Series in Gender and American Politics published by the University of Michigan Press in association with CAWP. Fridkin and Kenney examine in detail senators' official websites,  press releases and local news stories, as well as surveys of citizens to discern constituents' attitudes about their senators.    

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Series in Gender and American Politics
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    Congress
  • Women and the U.S. Senate 2014: Electoral Outlook and Historical Comparison

    by Kelly Dittmar
    1/22/14 

    What's the outlook for women running for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and how does it compare with past years? Find out in the Center for American Women and Politics' (CAWP) latest Closer Look research brief. In its latest edition of "A Closer Look," CAWP reports that with 34 gubernatorial races across the country, 29 women in 18 states have indicated that they are likely candidates. The brief highlights key races, sets the 2014 elections in the context of past records for women candidates, and outlines the importance of having more women senators.

    Fact Sheet
    Fact Sheet Archive
    Research
    A Closer Look
    Congress