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CRS – Women in Congress, 1917-2016

Women in Congress, 1917-2016: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by State and Congress, Jennifer E. Manning, Information Research Specialist; Ida A. Brudnick, Specialist on the Congress. November 7, 2016.

“One hundred eight women currently serve in the 114th Congress: 88 in the House, including four Delegates (65 Democrats and 23 Republicans), and 20 in the Senate (14 Democrats and 6 Republicans). This is higher than the previous record from the 113th Congress (101 women initially sworn in, and 1 House Member subsequently resigned and 3 were elected) 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 one day. A total of 313 women have been elected or appointed to Congress, 202 Democrats and 111 Republicans. Of these women, 267 (173 Democrats, 94 Republicans) have been elected only to the House of Representatives; 35 (21 Democrats, 14 Republicans) have been elected or appointed only to the Senate; and 11 (8 Democrats, 3 Republicans) have served in both houses. These figures include six non-voting Delegates, one each from Guam, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and American Samoa, and two from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of the 46 women who have been elected or appointed to the Senate, 14 were first appointed and 5 were first elected to fill unexpired terms. A total of 38 African American women have served in Congress (1 in the Senate, 37 in the House), including 20 serving in the 114th Congress. Eleven Hispanic women have been elected to the House; nine serve in the 114th Congress. Ten Asian Pacific American women have served in Congress (nine in the House, one in both the House and Senate), including seven in the 114th Congress.”

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