A Record-Breaking Number of Women Has Been Elected to the House

Megan Friedman
Photo credit: DON EMMERT - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

  • A record-breaking number of women will serve in the House next year.
  • More than 100 women were elected, breaking the previous record of 85.
  • Women of color also made historic strides.

Starting next year, there will be more women in the House of Representatives than ever before. At least 100 women will be serving in the House, CNN reports. Though final numbers are not in yet, so things could change, Tuesday night's numbers shatter the previous record of 85 women in the House of Representatives. At least 117 women will be serving in Congress as a whole next year, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics.

Most of the women elected to the House were Democrats, who took over control of the House in Tuesday night’s election. The congresswomen-elect are a diverse group, with many of women of color on the ballot-and winning. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will be the first Muslim women in Congress, and Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will be the first Native American women in Congress.

In the Senate, 12 women won seats, with two newly elected senators and nine incumbents winning reelection. (Arizona’s Senate race, which is too close to call, also features two women running against one another, so that number is really 13.) At least eight women won governor’s races, with four being incumbents and four being newly elected.

Photo credit: KEREM YUCEL - Getty Images

Some closely watched female candidates did not win their races, though. The New York Times noted Sens. Claire McCaskill and Heidi Heitkamp lost their bids for re-election, and Amy McGrath lost her congressional race in Kentucky. And though the race is too close to call in the Georgia governor’s race, Stacey Abrams’ numbers currently fall short of her opponent, Brian Kemp. But activists are still optimistic about women taking action, both running for office and casting their votes.

“Voters were more determined than ever to defend women's rights at the ballot box and in the halls of Congress,” Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, said in a statement. “Women voted for health care, for reproductive rights, for economic justice, and for gender equality.”

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