Record Number of Women Elected to the U.S. Congress
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
While much of the world’s attention has been on the 2020 U.S. presidential election, this year’s general election has been one of many historic wins for women, and, particularly for women of color. Civic Engagement Minneapolis-St Paul MN
Both with Kamala Harris becoming the first woman of color Vice President-Elect (and soon-to-be Vice President), as well as a historic number of women and women of color being elected to the U.S. Congress. Here is what to know about the 117th U.S. Congress and why it’s significant for women and women of color in particular:
The 117th U.S. Congress Represents A Historic Win For Women
The 2018 Midterm Election was considered to be a historic win for women as an unprecedented number of women were elected to the United States Congress. However, this year’s general election has surpassed the 2018 election as an even higher number of women--and, specifically, women of color--have been elected to Congress. While ballots from this year’s general election are still being counted, at least 141 women (and potentially more) have won seats in Congress in this year’s election, beating the previous record of 127. Moreover, at least 51 of the U.S. congressional seats won by women this year were won by women of color--the most that have ever been elected to congress in the history of the United States.
The Road To A More Equitable Democracy
The reason why a record number of both women and women of color being elected to the 117th U.S. Congress is so important is because it is a sign that the United States is gradually getting closer and closer to achieving a more equitable and a more representative democracy. Women make up 51% of the United States’ population, but only 24% of representatives in the U.S. Congress, meaning that women are severely lacking in representation in our government’s politics.
One of the primary factors that led up to a record number of women being elected to the 117th U.S. Congress is that a record number of women ran for office in this year’s election. 643 women ran for Congress is this year’s election--that’s more than double the number of women who ran during the 2016 election (313). This just goes to show that when more women decide to get involved in politics and run for office, more women have a chance of being elected and getting a seat at the major decision-making tables in our country.
To learn more about how to get involved in politics, run for office, or simply to become more civically-engaged, feel free to contact your local civic leadership nonprofit organization in Minneapolis-St Paul MN, Ayada Leads, today!
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