Women in the United States Congress: 1917-2011 [October 31, 2011]   [open pdf - 654KB]

"Ninety-three women currently serve in the 112th Congress: 76 in the House (52 Democrats and 24 Republicans) and 17 in the Senate (12 Democrats and 5 Republicans). Ninety-two women were initially sworn in to the 112th Congress, but one Democratic House Member has since resigned, and two others have been elected. This number (92) is lower than the 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 276 women have served in Congress, 176 Democrats and 100 Republicans. […] A total of 31 African American or black women have served in Congress (1 in the Senate, 30 in the House), including the 15 serving in the 112th Congress. Eight Hispanic women have been elected to the House; seven serve in the 112th Congress. Six Asian American women have served in the House, including four in the 112th Congress. Eighteen women in the House, and 10 women in the Senate, have chaired committees. In the 112th Congress, one woman chairs a House committee, and five women chair Senate committees, with one female Senator chairing two committees. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, in the 110th and 111th Congresses. This report identifies the names, committee assignments, dates of service, and (for Representatives) congressional districts of the 276 women who have served in Congress. It will be updated when there are relevant changes in the makeup of Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30261
Public Domain
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