A record number of women will serve in the next Congress | CNN Politics-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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A record number of women will be elected to Congress this year, projected by CNN, but hardly.

The 149 women who will serve in the US House of Representatives and Senate in the 118th Congress will expand the ranks of women’s representation by just two members over the record set by this Congress.

Alaska crossed that threshold Wednesday night when the state determined through its ranking voting system that Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat, would represent the state in the House of Representatives for a full term after winning a special election earlier this year. , and Senator Lisa Murkowski will win re-election.

Women will break the overall record in the House of Representatives with 124 people taking office in January.

And not only women of color will break records in the 118th Congress, but only the House of Representatives will have a record number of both Hispanic and black women. There will be four more Hispanics in the House, for a total of 18 people – the most – and another black woman, bringing the total from 26 to 27.

More than half of the incoming class of 22 freshmen at the House will be women of color, a testament to the growing diversity of this House.

“We are seeing a fairly steady increase in the racial and ethnic diversity of women as candidates, nominees, and later officeholders at the congressional level, and more specifically in the US House of Representatives,” said Kelly Dittmar, director of research for the Center. for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Policy Institute at Rutgers.

“This diversity is still sorely lacking in the US Senate. … We are seeing stagnation in terms of the number of women of color overall. The number of Asian and Hispanic women will remain the same, and the number of black women will remain the same at zero.”

Representative-elect Sydney Kamlager of California is one of those new votes coming into the House of Representatives. A state senator, she was elected to replace outgoing Rep. Karen Bass, who will become Los Angeles’ first female mayor. Kamlager said that while she is delighted with the diversity of the freshman class, she still has a long way to go.

“I think people should stop talking about black and brown women and putting money into words. The fact remains that black and black women face higher barriers to entry into these jobs than other women and men,” the Democrat said. “When we run, our contributions are less than men’s. We hold higher and double standards,” she added, noting that women candidates are still often asked why they “don’t sit at home and take care of their husband or children.”

“People agree with a mediocre male candidate but expect a female candidate to be off the charts,” she said.

Rep.-elect Yadira Caraveo, a Democrat, is the first Hispanic elected to Congress from Colorado. A state representative and the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, she will also be the second female doctor to serve as a voting member of Congress. (The first, Democratic Rep. Kim Schrir, won re-election in Washington State.)

“It’s kind of sad that it took until 2022,” Caraveo said, reflecting on both milestones.

Her background in medicine and public policy, she said, prepared her to have to work harder to get “less recognition” than her male counterparts.

“Unfortunately, this is what I have seen throughout my time, both in medicine and politics, and, unfortunately, it is a challenge that you get used to in some ways, but in other ways it continues to be painful. ,” said Caraveo, a pediatrician.

“Even members of my staff, as you know when they joined the board, did remark that I was treated or perceived differently as a woman of color compared to some of the other candidates who had an easier time getting appointments or support. from different groups,” she added.

However, these women do not miss the moment.

“I grew up in Colorado without seeing who I am now,” Caraveo said. “The idea of ​​being the first Hispanic — not only a woman, but a woman of color — to serve in Congress, I hope, will make life a little easier for the little girls I have cared for. in the clinic. So that one day they don’t have to talk about being first at something, their candidacy and their ability to be in office is just a given.”

And Caraveo, who will represent the new district that Colorado received in the redistribution process, also stressed the importance of what greater female representation could mean for the legislature.

“The sense of cooperation with which we approach the matter is very different from what I think my male colleagues often do,” she said.

On the other side of the aisle, the Republicans will break the record with 42 women serving in Congress. Murkowski and Republican Senator-elect Kathy Britt of Alabama are helping bring the number of Republican women in the Senate to nine. There will be 33 Republican women in the House of Representatives next year, up from 32 this year.

The new class of seven House Republican freshmen includes three Hispanics, bringing the total number of Republican Hispanics in the House to five.

“You know, having a diversity of views and experiences is critical to our participatory democracy,” House Rep. Erin Houchin said, noting that she is the first woman to represent her county in Indiana.

“It feels like we’re doing something for the next generation,” she said. “It is especially important for me to set such an example for my daughters, young women.”

Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio has already seen and broken many records as the longest-serving woman in the House of Representatives. When she is sworn in for a new term in January, just after her first competitive re-election in years, she will become the longest-serving woman in the entire Congress, breaking the record held by former Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Kaptur, first elected in 1982, is sounding the alarm that her party is dominated by leaders from the coast, while central and industrial America – and its struggling middle class – are often forgotten in Washington.

“The most satisfying achievement for me is that this term represents the voice of the working class of people, which turned out to be a woman,” she said.

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