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 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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    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

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    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
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    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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    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 

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    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Political Parties
    Women Voters and the Gender Gap
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Federal Executive
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
  • 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. 

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    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