A record number of women will serve in the US House of Representatives next year, while the number of women in the Senate will remain steady at 14. Eight women picked up open seats or unseated incumbents, and 57 female incumbents retained their seats, in addition to three non-voting delegates (representing Washington, DC, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands). Of the eight new women elected to the US House, five are pro-choice, pro-women’s rights Democrats who were endorsed by the Feminist Majority PAC: Melissa Bean (IL-8), Cynthia McKinney (GA-4), Gwen Moore (WI-4), Allyson Scwartz (PA-13), and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-20). In a close race, Bean ousted Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL), a longtime opponent of women’s rights and reproductive rights. Three are Republicans, all of whom are anti-choice.
The number of women in the US House may increase even further. Democrat Willie B. Mount, running in Louisiana-7, faces a runoff election on December 4 against Republican Charles W. Boustany. In addition, as of this writing, the race for New York’s 27th District between Republican Nancy Naples and Democrat Brian M. Higgins is still too close to call.
Of the 65 women who have been declared winners of their races, 42 are Democrats and 23 are Republicans. The number of women who ran for the House of Representatives, 142, was also a record this year.
The gender composition of the US Senate did not change. Five female incumbents retained their seats, and all five female challengers lost their races. Betty Castor (D), running against Mel Martinez (R) for retiring Senator Bob Graham’s Senate seat in Florida, came within only two points of winning.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority; Center for American Women and Politics 11/3/04
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .