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Fact Sheet on Women's Political Progress

Statistics on the involvement of women in various governmental offices, including senator, state representative, governor, attorney general, and others. Originally published by the National Women's Political Caucus, March 1993.

Reprinted with permission from National Women's Political Caucus, March 1993

Women in the U.S. Senate

  • In 1992, four new women were elected to the U.S. Senate and one incumbent was re-elected, bringing the total of women Senators to a record six (one incumbent was not up for re-election).
  • The 1992 elections tripled the percentage of women in the Senate from 2 percent to 6 percent.
  • Including the four women Senators elected in 1992, a total of 21 women have served in the U.S. Senate (14 Democrats and 7 Republicans).
  • This is the first time in history that more than two elected women have served in the Senate at the same time.
  • Of the four newly-elected women Senators, one ran against an appointed incumbent in the general election and one beat an incumbent in the primary. The other two won open seats.
  • Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are the first women representing the same state in the U.S. Senate simultaneously.
  • Carol Moseley-Braun is the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Number of Women Senators 6
Democrats 5
Republicans 1
Women of Color 1
Pro choice 6
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)  
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)  
Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kansas)  
Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)  
Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.)  
Patty Murray (D-Wash.)  

Women in the U.S. House of Representatives

  • In 1992, 24 new women were elected to the U.S. House and 23 incumbents were re-elected, bringing the total from 28 in the 102nd Congress to a record 47* in the 103rd Congress.
  • This is the first time in history that more than 28* women have served in the U.S. House at the same time.
  • Of the 24 new women in the House, only two ran against incumbents; 22 won open seats.
  • Twenty-two percent of the freshmen serving in the House of Representatives are women.
  • The 1992 election increased the percentage of women in the House from 6 percent to 11 percent. Counting the six Senators, women make up 10 percent of the 103rd Congress.

Number of Women Representatives 47*
Republicans 12
Women of Color: 12*
African American 8
Hispanic 3
Asian 1
Pro-Choice 44*
Helen Bentley (R-Md.)**  
Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)  
Leslie Byrne (D-Va.)  
Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)  
Eva Clayton (D-N.C.)  
Barbara-Rose Collins (D-Mich.)  
Cardiss Collins (D-Ill.)  
Pat Danner (D-Mo.)  
Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)  
Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.)  
Karan English (D-Ariz.)  
Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)  
Tillie Fowler (R-Fla.)  
Elizabeth Furse (D-Ore.)  
Jane Harman (D-Calif.)  
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)  
Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.)  
Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)  
Barbara Kennelly (D-Conn.)  
Blanche Lambert (D-Arkansas)  
Marilyn Lloyd (D-Tenn.)  
Jill Long (D-Ind.)  
Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)  
Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-Pa.)  
Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.)  
Carrie Meek (D-Fla.)  
Jan Meyers (R-Kansas)  
Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii)  
Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.)  
Connie Morella (R-Md.)  
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)  
Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio)  
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)**  
Marge Roukema (R-N.J.)  
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)  
Lynn Schenk (D-Calif.)  
Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.)  
Karen Shepherd (D Utah)  
Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)  
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)  
Karen Thurman (D-Fla.)  
Jolene Unsoeld (D-Wash.)  
Nydia Velazquez (D N.Y.)  
Barbara Vucanovich (R-Nev.)**  
Maxine Waters (D Calif.)  
Lynn Woolsey (D Calif.)  
Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)  
* Plus Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), a delegate from the District of Columbia.  
** Defined themselves as anti-choice on an NWPC questionnaire.  


States With the Most Women in the U.S. House

The following is a ranking of states by percentage of U.S. House seats held by women.

State Held by Women Total # of Seats Percentage
Connecticut 3 6 50
Hawaii 1 2 50
Maine 1 2 50
Nevada 1 2 50
Utah 1 3 33.3
Washington 3 9 33.3
Arkansas 1 4 25
Kansas 1 4 25
Maryland 2 8 25
Florida 5 23 21.7
Oregon 1 5 20
Arizona 1 6 16.7
Colorado 1 6 16.7
New York 5 16 31
California 7 52 13.5
Missouri 1 9 11.1
Tennessee 1 9 11.1
Ohio 2 19 10.5
Indiana 1 10 10
Georgia 1 11 9.1
Virginia 1 11 9.1
North Carolina 1 12 8.3
New Jersey 1 13 7.7
Michigan 1 16 6.3
Illinois 1 20 5
Pennsylvania 1 21 4.8
Texas 1 30 3.3

The following 23 states have no women in the U.S. House of Representatives:

New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Women Who Hold Statewide Office


  • A total of 12 women (11 Democrats and 1 Republican) have served as Governor.
  • Of the 12, eight were elected in their own right, one was elected to finish the term of her deceased husband, one rose from Secretary of State after a gubernatorial impeachment, and two were elected as surrogates for husbands who could not run for re-election.
  • A record of four women Governors were in office from January to March 1991. There are currently three women Governors.

# of Women Governors 3
Democrats 3
Republicans 0
Pro-Choice 2
Joan Finney (D-Kansas)*  
Barbara Roberts (D-Ore.)  
Ann Richards (D-Texas)  

Lieutenant Governors

  • Over one quarter of the 42 states with Lieutenant Governors have women serving in that posihon.
  • A total of 28 women have served as Lieutenant Governor; 26 were elected and 2 were appointed.

# of Women Lieutenant Governors 11
Democrats 3
Republicans 7
Independent 1
Connie Binsfeld (R-Mich.)  
Rosemarie Myrdal (R-N.D.)  
Joy Corning (R-Iowa)  
Melinda Schwegmann (D-La.)  
Joanell Dyrstad (R-Minn.)  
Barbara Snelling (R-Vt.)  
Eunice Groark (ACP-Conn.)**  
Sue Wagner (R-Nev.)  
Ruth Ann Minner (D-Del.)  
Olene Walker (R-Utah)  
Maxine Moul (D-Neb.)  
* Defines herself as anti-choice.  
** ACP - A Connecticut Party  

Attorneys General

  • Eight of the 50 states (16 percent) currently have women serving as Attorney General.
  • A record nine women Attorneys General (18 percent) served in January 1993 before Mary Sue Terry (D-Va.) resigned to run for Governor.
  • Women are serving as Attorny General in the Virgin Islands and Guam. A woman is currently acting Attorney General in Puerto Rico.
  • Pamela Fanning Carter is the first African Amencan woman Attorney General. She was elected in 1992 and is the only woman of color currently serving as Attorney General.

# of Women Attorneys General 8
Democrats 7
Republicans 1
Women of Color 1
Bonnie Campbell (D Iowa)  
Pamela Fanning Carter (D Ind.)  
Frankie Sue del Papa (D-Nev.)  
Jan Graham (D-Utah)  
Christine Gregoire (D-Wash.)  
Heidi Hatkamp (D-N.D.)  
Susan Loving (D-Okla.)*  
Gale Norton (R-Colo.)  

Secretaries of State

  • Fourteen (28 percent) of the current Secretaries of State are women.
    Number of Women Secretaries of State 14**
    Democrats 9**
    Republicans 5
    Elaine Baxter (D-Iowa)  
    March Fong Eu (D Cal.)  
    Stephanie Gonzales (D-N.M.)  
    Joan Growe (D-Minn.)  
    Joyce Hazeltine (R-S.D.)  
    Kathleen Karpan (D-Wyo.)  
    Pauline Kazer (R-Conn.)  
    Cheryl Lau (R-Nev.)  
    Barbara Leonard (R-R.I.)  
    Natalie Meyer (R-Colo.)  
    Brenda Mitchell (D-Pa.)***  
    Judith Moriarty (D-Mo.)  
    Gail Shaffer (D-N.Y.)***  
    Pamda Womack (D-Va.)***  
    * Appointed in 1992 to fill a vacancy.
    ** Plus Mildred Goodman (D), a delegate from the District of Columbia
    *** Secretary of State is an appointed position under state law.

State Legislatures

  • One-fifth of all state legislators (20.4 percent) are women in 1993, up from 18.2 percent in 1991.
  • A total of 1,516 women now serve in state legislatures. A total of 336 of the 1,984 state Senators are women; 1,180 of the 5,440 lower house members are women.
  • In 1991, for the first time, every state had at least one woman serving in each house of its state legislature.
  • In 1993, every state (except Nebraska which is unicameral) has at least one woman in its Senate and at least five women in its lower house.  

States With the Most Women Legislators

The following is a ranking of states according to the percentage of women in their state legislatures.

State Percentage
Washington 39.5
Colorado 34.0
Vermont 33.9
New Hampshire 33.5
Maine 31.2
Idaho 30.5
Kansas 28.5
Minnesota 27.4
Wisconsin 27.3
Nevada 27.0
Oregon 26.7
Connecticut 25.1
Rhode Island 24.7
Wyoming 24.4
Hawaii 23.7
Maryland 23.4
California 23.3
Illinois 23.2
Massachusetts 23.0
Alaska 21.7
Ohio 21.2
Nebraska 20.4
South Dakota 20.0
New Mexico 19.6
Michigan 19.6
Montana 19.3
Indiana 19.3
Missouri 19.3
North Carolina 18.2
Florida 17.5
Georgia 17.4
West Virginia 16.4
North Dakota 16.3
New York 16.1
Texas 16.0
Iowa 14.7
Delaware 14.5
Utah 13.5
South Carolina 12.9
New Jersey 12.5
Tennessee 12.1
Virginia 11.4
Mississippi 10.9
Pennsylvania 9.9
Arkansas 9.4
Oklahoma 6.9
Louisiana 6.9
Alabama 5.7
Kentucky 4.3


Center for the American Woman and Politics, Eagleton Institute, Rutgers University
The National Conference of Lieutenant Governors
The National Association of Attorneys General
The National Association of Secretaries of State

Last modified 2005-01-19 11:53 AM

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