Women had many reasons to celebrate this election. First of all, a woman made history by getting elected to the number two spot in the country. That’s the headline news. But important too is that at least 131 women will be serving in the U.S. Congress (the number may be higher after all races are settled)–a new record, up from 127 in 2019.
That is still only one-third of the total of 535 seats in the Senate and House of Representatives combined, but at least we’re heading in the right direction.
The big take away from this development is that Republican women have made significant gains in Congress. Among those newly elected is Stephanie Bice, above, of Oklahoma.
Republican Women in Congress
At this writing, 100 Democratic women won their House seats, and 23 female Republicans did, of whom 13 were non-incumbents. Contrast this to 2018, when only one new Republican woman was elected to the House. “The stark results set off alarm bells within the Republican Party, prompting a concerted effort to recruit a more diverse slate of candidates this year,” said a report in the New York Times. “As a result, the party had more female candidates at the start of the cycle than ever before — 227 filed to run for House seats and 23 for the Senate.”
Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokeswoman for Winning for Women Action Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing GOP women to public office, told The Hill that the party had no where to go but up after 2018. “We hit rock bottom,” she said. “We had to really reprioritize the way that we approach recruiting and supporting Republican women candidates.”
Winning for Women Action Fund is one of a number of PACs now devoted to assisting GOP women get elected. But they have a long way to go to catch up to Democratic efforts, which have well-established PACs such as Emily’s List. Currently women comprise seven percent of the Republican caucus in the House, while Democratic women make up more than a third of their caucus.
While not all women support causes that will advance other women, we do believe that as a whole better representation of women in government, whatever their party, helps the country to be more fair and just and expands the way society views our contributions and value. We’ll take that!