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This Map Shows When Each State Elected a Woman to Congress

Women could make history this year — but there's still a long way to go before there's equal representation.
The U.S. Congress currently has more women than ever before — with 23 female senators and 84 female representatives, women make up 20% of Washington lawmakers. But there remains a long way to go until the sexes are equally represented in Congress.

In fact, 20 states have never been represented by women in the U.S. Senate. (That doesn’t include states that have appointed but never elected a woman, like Georgia, which appointed the first woman to the Senate in 1922.) Five states have never elected a woman to the House. Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to either chamber of Congress.

“Everybody brings their life experience to the table, and we’ve found that women are more likely to prioritize issues affecting women, families and children,” says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “It’s not that men don’t support many of those positions, but it takes women to raise those issues and put them on the agenda,” explains Walsh.

Click the play button below to watch as women gain seats in Congress over time. The first map shows all of Congress, or you can select a particular chamber. You can also drag the red dot to show a single point in time.
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