5 States Still Have Never Elected a Woman to Congress
Saturday, February 18, 2012
From the Northeast to the Midwest to the Deep South, five states still have not elected a woman to Congress: Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, Vermont and North Dakota. In 1992, Jocelyn Birch Burdick of North Dakota was appointed to serve a three-month term in the Senate after her husband, the elected senator, died. Only eighteen states have elected a woman to the Senate.
Although it is too early to tell who the candidates will be in this year’s elections, Eric Ostermeier of Smart Politics suggests that the woman with the best chance to break through is Democrat Christie Vilsack, who is running in Iowa’s reconfigured 4th Congressional District against five-term incumbent Steve King. Vilsack’s husband, Tom, is currently Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama administration.
Comparing women’s representation to the national legislative bodies of other countries, the U.S. ranks 71st in the world, with only 16.8% of all House and Senate seats currently held by women.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Will the Glass Ceiling Shatter in Iowa and North Dakota This November? (by Eric Ostermeier, Smart Politics)
Women Representatives and Senators by State and Territory, 1917–Present (Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives)
Women in National Parliaments (Inter-Parliamentary Union)
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