The issue becomes clearer when the partisan make-up of the state legislatures — a common rung on the political latter — is considered. Women hold 24 percent of seats in the 50 U.S. state legislatures (1,793 seats out of 7,383), and most of them are Democrats (60 percent). Maryland ranks near the top in regard to women's representation with about 30 percent of its 188 state legislative seats held by women. However, when you break it down by party, only 6 percent of the seats are held by Republican women, whereas 24 percent are held by Democrats. A notable bright spot is Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga, who is currently serving in a leadership position as minority whip.