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Monday, December 30, 2013

Women in the United States Congress, 1917-2013: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by State and Congress - RL30261

Jennifer E. Manning
Information Research Specialist

Ida A. Brudnick
Specialist on the Congress

One hundred two women currently serve in the 113
th Congress: 82 in the House (63 Democrats and 19 Republicans) and 20 in the Senate (16 Democrats and 4 Republicans). One hundred one women were initially sworn in to the 113th Congress, one female Republican House Member has since resigned, and two Democratic House Members have been elected. This is higher than the previous record number of 95 women who were initially elected to the 111th Congress.

The first woman elected to Congress was Representative Jeannette Rankin (R-MT, 1917-1919, 1941-1943). The first woman to serve in the Senate was Rebecca Latimer Felton (D-GA). She was appointed in 1922 and served for only one day.

A total of 298 women have served in Congress, 194 Democrats and 104 Republicans. Of these women, 254 (165 Democrats, 89 Republicans) have served only in the House of Representatives; 34 (21 Democrats, 13 Republicans) have served only in the Senate; and 10 (8 Democrats, 2 Republicans) have served in both houses. These figures include four non-voting Delegates, one each from Guam, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of the 44 women who have served in the Senate, 14 were first appointed and 5 were first elected to fill unexpired terms.

A total of 33 African American women have served in Congress (1 in the Senate, 32 in the House), including 17 serving in the 113
th Congress. Ten Hispanic women have been elected to the House; nine serve in the 113th Congress. Nine Asian Pacific American women have served in the Congress (8 in the House, 1 in both the House and Senate), including seven in the 113th Congress. Nineteen women in the House, and 10 women in the Senate, have chaired committees. In the 113th Congress, one woman chairs a House committee, and five women chair Senate committees, with one female Senator chairing two committees.

This report includes biographical information, including the names, committee assignments, dates of service, listings by Congress and state, and (for Representatives) congressional districts of the 297 women who have served in Congress. It will be updated when there are relevant changes in the makeup of Congress.

For additional information, including a discussion of the impact of women in Congress as well as historical information, including the number and percentage of women in Congress over time, data on entry to Congress, comparisons to international and state legislatures, tenure, firsts for women in Congress, women in leadership, and African American and Asian Pacific American women in Congress, see CRS Report R43244,
Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion, by Jennifer E. Manning, Colleen J. Shogan, and Ida A. Brudnick.

Date of Report: December 16, 2013
Number of Pages: 107
Order Number: RL30261
Price: $29.95

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