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Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration: Political Representation since 1920

Milestones for Women in American Politics

Facts and historical data on women candidates and officeholders.


Discover more women who have claimed political representation since 1920 here!

Barriers to Political Office

"Among the most cited barriers were fundraising, which must be ramped up to a much higher level when running for Congress or a state-wide office—making the ask, developing relationships with donors so that when asked, donors respond, and having access to good call lists—as well as campaigning while female, balancing family obligations and office holding with campaigning, and the dominance of informal, male political networks that often exclude women (Baer and Hartmann 2014)."

Other Articles

Low Female Political Representation in the US: An Institution-Based Explanation - Soo-hyung Ahn, Jaechun Kim, and William Kang

Progress in Women’s Representation in Top Leadership Weakens People’s Disturbance with Gender Inequality in Other Domains - Oriane Georgeac and Aneeta Rattan

The U.S. House of Representatives and the Nineteenth Amendment

I’m No Lady; I’m a Member of Congress: Women Pioneers on Capitol Hill, 1917-1934

Florence Kahn of California was known for her effectiveness and sparkling wit. While serving on the Appropriations Committee, she secured prominent infrastructure projects, including the Bay Bridge and a Naval Air depot, for her San Francisco district.


Political Participation of Women in 2015

The map shows the percentage of women state and elected officials in 2015. 

Increasing Women Officeholders

Proposed Action Items:

  • recruiting and asking women to run
  • expanding and enhancing woman-centered campaign training, especially on-going training that emphasizes pursuing politics as a career and making longer run plans for strategically choosing which offices to seek
  • launching an organized effort to build the pipeline to office and improve strategic race placement
  • providing for mentoring and sponsorship of women candidates and elected officials
  • increasing understanding of fundraising, which includes building relationships with sponsors, who may be established office holders or those who do not hold political office but often support candidates they think can be successful
  • strengthening networks of women’s organizations; raising awareness among the public of female role models and increasing respect for women
  • making campaigning and office holding more family-friendly (Political Parity 2014).