RepresentWomen compiles information about the current status of women's representation through research from other organizations as well as through our own original research.
To learn more about our research and to see how each U.S. state ranks in terms of women's representation, check out the 2018 Gender Parity Index.
Women of color, Republican women, young women, and low-income women are especially underrepresented.
In 2018 women of color only make up:
In 2018 Republican women only make up:
Source: Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University (CAWP). Updated January 2019.
Women serve as mayors in 20 of the 100 largest cities, according to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.
Among the largest 100 cities in the United States, the average percentage of women on city councils with only at-large seats is 40% while the average percentage of women on city councils with only single member district seats is 31%. When city councils have both at-large seats and single-member district seats, the average percentage of women is 35%.
Only 6 out of 50 U.S. states have women governors, 12 women serve as lieutenant governors, and 57 women hold other statewide offices such as attorney general or secretary of state. 23 states have never elected a woman governor.
Number of women serving: 72 out of 312
Percentage of women: 23.1%
Number of Republicans: 43
Number of Democrats: 28
Women of color: 8
First woman elected in her own right: Ella Grasso (CT) in 1975
Number of women serving: 1,878 out of 7,383 seats
Percentage of women: 25.4%
Number of Republicans: 706
Number of Democrats: 1,145
Number of nonpartisans: 114
Number of independents: 7
Number of Progressives: 5
Number of Working Families Party: 1
Women of color: 454
First women elected: Clara Cressingham, Carrie C. Holly, and Frances Klock - 1894
Number of women serving: 23 out of 100
Percentage of women serving: 23%
Number of Republicans: 5
Number of Democrats: 18
Women of color: 4 (4D, 0R)
Most represented states: CA, NH, WA, MN
First woman elected: Hattie Caraway (AR) in 1932
Fact sheet from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University
Four out of the six (66.7.%) non-voting representatives in the House of Representatives are women. By contrast, only 127 out of the 535 (23.7%) elected members of Congress from the fifty states are women.
Mayor: Muriel Bowser (D) has served as mayor since 2015. Sharon Pratt Kelly served as mayor from 1991-1995. She was also the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city
City Council: Four of the District's 13 city council members (31%) are women
Delegate to U.S. House: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) has served as the District's one non-voting representative in Congress since 1991
Governor: Síla Calderon served as the first and only woman governor from 2001-2005
Legislature: Fourteen of the 81 seats (17%) are held by women
Mayors: Carmen Yulín Cruz and María Meléndez are mayors of San Juan and Ponce, the largest and fourth largest cities respectively.
Delegate to the U.S. House: Jenniffer González was elected Resident Commissioner in 2016 and is the first woman to hold the position
Governor: Lou Leon Guerrero, elected in 2018, is the first woman to serve as Governor.
Legislature:Ten of the 15 seats (67%) are held by women. Tina Muña Barnes currently serves as Speaker and Telena Cruz nelson as vice-Speaker.
Mayors: Dededo, Tamuning, and Barrigada, Guam's first, third, and fifth largest villages respectively, all have female mayors
Delegate to the U.S. House: Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D) served as Guam's first woman non-voting delegate from 2003 to 2019.
Governor: No woman has served as governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Legislature: Four of 15 seats (26.7%) are held by women
Delegate to the U.S. House: Stacey Plaskett (D) currently serves as the delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, starting in 2015. Her predecessor, Donna Christian-Christensen, served from 1997-2015
Governor: No woman has served as governor of the Northern Mariana Islands
Legislature: Four of the 29 seats (13.8%) are held by women. This is the second-lowest percentage in the country.
Mayors: Saipan has never had a woman mayor.
Delegate to the U.S. House: No woman has served as the delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
Governor: No woman has served as governor of American Samoa
Legislature: Two out of 39 seats (5.1%) are held by women. This is the lowest of any state or territory in the country.
Delegate to the U.S. House: Amata Coleman Radewagen has served as American Samoa's first female non-voting delegate since 2015
The United States ranks behind 76 countries for women's political representation, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Visit their site to find the most up to date information on international women's representation.
Click here to see a full list of how countries rank for women’s representation, what type of voting system is used, and whether or not they have a quota.
Women attend law school at equal rates as men but are underrepresented as judges
Out of the 114 justices that have served on the Supreme Court, there have only been four women - three of whom are currently on the bench. Fifty nine of the 167 active judges currently sitting on the thirteen federal courts of appeal are female (35%).
These numbers are even worse for women of color
Women of color are less represented than any other demographic group, as their numbers (at the state level) represent a mere 40% of their relative numbers in the general population. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first and only woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court.
Is representation improving?
When in office, President Obama facilitated significant progress for women judges and more than doubled the number of women of color to federal judicial positions. 42 percent of his confirmed nominees to federal courts were women.
Unfortunately, this progress does not seem to be continuing under President Trump, who has appointed 84 active federal judges, with only 20 of them being women.
The Brennan Center for Justice tracks best practices to get more women into judicial offices in the United States.
RepresentWomen is working with a team of attorneys from We The Action to craft innovative strategies to increase the number of women in elected and appointed judicial positions in the United States.