The number of women in Congress is at an all-time high. About a century after Montana Republican Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress, there are 127 women in the legislature, accounting for a record 24% of voting lawmakers across both chambers. (In addition, four of the six nonvoting House members, who represent the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, are women.)
There are more women in the Senate than ever (25), and in six states – Arizona, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and Washington – both senators are women, up from three states in the previous Senate.
These gains have been relatively recent, however. The House has seen slow but steady growth in the number of female members since the 1920s. Growth in the Senate has been slower: The Senate did not have more than three women serving at any point until the 102nd Congress, which began in 1991. And the share of women in Congress remains far below the share of women in the country as a whole (24% vs. 51%).