Election season’s an appropriate time to consider women’s political progress nationally. Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. The subsequent journey, however, has been slow.
For 50 years after Rankin’s election in 1917, there were cumulatively only 73 Congresswomen, with the surest path towards election for a woman being through a Congressional family connection or the death of her Congressman husband.
Besides breaking barriers, until the mid 1980s women in leadership positions were rare; yet, women still advanced – slowly. Today’s 118th Congress is 25% women in the Senate and 28% in the House.