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Record number of women to serve in U.S. Congress and Maryland General Assembly

New members of the U.S. Congress and Maryland General Assembly being seated this month have pushed female representation in both legislative bodies to record levels.

The 116th Congress, which begins today, has 127 female voting members (102 in the House and 25 in the Senate), 20 more than the 115th Congress, itself a record-setter. Maryland's 10-member delegation remains all male.

When it opens its annual session on Wednesday, the Maryland General Assembly will have 72 female members (57 in the House and 15 in the Senate), five more than the previous record, set in 2005.

Women hold 23.7 percent of 535 seats in the U.S. Congress.

 
Sources: Brookings Vital Statistics on Congress, January 2017 update; Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University; Ballotpedia

Of the 127 women in Congress, 47, or 37 percent, are women of color.

 
Source: Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University

 
IStock

Forty-three women of color are now serving in the U.S. House, a new record.

(Source: Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University.)


Women in Maryland’s General Assembly

 
Source: Maryland Women's Caucus

Maryland’s legislature also has a record number of women. Women now make up 40 percent of the Maryland House of Delegates and 32 percent of the State Senate.


Progress has been divided along party lines

More women are serving in the 116th Congress than ever before. This increase has been driven by Democratic women.

 
Sources: Brookings Vital Statistics on Congress, January 2017 update; Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University

Representation in Maryland

Meanwhile, there is a lack of women in Maryland’s top elected offices. No women hold any of the state’s 14 federal or statewide offices. Since 1940, eight women have represented Maryland in the U.S. House, and one woman has represented Maryland in the Senate.

 
Source: Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University; Cook Political Report 2018 House Race Ratings.
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