Record Number of Women Sworn into Congress
Last week, a record number of new congresswomen were officially sworn into their positions to begin the 113th Congressional session.
One hundred women will be filling the seats of Congress in the new session. The total number of women holding seats in the House of Representatives is now 80, up from 77 in the last Congressional session. In the Senate, women hold 20 seats in the new Congress, up from 17 in the last session.
Among the women in this Congressional session's freshman class are:
- Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is the first openly gay member of the Senate.
- Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) is the first Asian-American woman elected to the US Senate.
- Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the first woman ever elected to the US Senate from the state of Massachusetts.
- Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-8) is an Iraq War veteran who worked in the Obama administration.
- Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) is the first Hindu ever elected to the US House.
While the gains in the number of women in Congress are a major achievement in gender equality, women are still not sufficiently represented in the legislature. Despite being half the population, women only compromise about 20% of Congress.
Media Resources: New York Times 1/3/2013; Reuters 1/3/2013; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/7/2012