Here at BUST we agree wholeheartedly that women belong in the House. But let’s make one thing clear: They belong in the Senate, too. We were thrilled to see a record breaking 104 women (!) represented in the 114th congress this term, with 84 serving in the House of Representatives and 20 in the senate.
Representation is still low, though. Lawmakers remain overwhelmingly male and white. But women are making major strides in government and politics, which is definitely something to celebrate—just as we did in 1917, when Jeannette Rankin became the first woman to serve in congress. Almost a century ago she said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.” As we pass our 100 member mark, we’re making our way toward equal representation—and eventually, victory
Also, can we give a quick shout out to lawmakers like Mia Love, 38, whose election to a suburban Salt Lake City district made her the first black female Republican to win a seat in Congress. And to Elise Stefanik, a 30-year-old New York Republican who is the youngest woman ever elected to the House? REPRESENT.
But those aren’t the only lady lawmakers you should know. We’ve picked five you should familiarize yourself with below—and if those aren’t enough, make sure to check out She Should Run, a national network committed to advancing women and girls in public leadership. BECAUSE WE’RE TALENTED DAMN IT.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
While she’s made some…intriguing remarks about her experience castrating hogs (a skill that will naturally be useful when it comes time to “cut pork” in Washington HO HO HO) and has made headlines across the Interwebs with her bread bag covered shoes after her SOTU Rebuttal, she still deserves some major kudos for landing a seat in the Senate. When she defeated Rep. Bruce Braley, she also became the first female in Iowa ever to be sent to congress and the first female combat veteran to serve in Congress. As a freshman congresswoman she will serve on the Armed Services Committee, the Homeland Security and Government Committee, and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah
Like we said, Love made history when she defeated Doug Own to represent Utah’s 4th District in Congress, becoming the first black female Republican to serve in Congress. Previously, she acted as the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah from 2010 to 2014 and appeared on the national political scene at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She’s also been assigned to serve on the House Committee on Financial Services. Interestingly, she told Martha Raddatz on This Week with George Stephanopoulos that she still thinks House Majority Whip Steve Scalise should remain a leader on the Republican Party (despite recent reports that he attended a workshop organized by a group of alleged white supremacists in 2002. Questionable move).
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
While presidency may (or may not?) be out of the question for the upcoming 2016 elections, Warren will sit comfortably in her Senate seat. She’s heading the newly created position of “strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.” Here she will liaise with liberal groups to make sure their voices are heard. Did we mention we love her?
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Though they once were at odds about reforming the military’s policies on sexual assault (both wanted different forms of legislation), they have since joined forces and are channeling their efforts toward ending sexual assault on college campuses. They co-sponsored a bill called the Campus Safety and Accountability Act, which was introduced in July and had recent hearings this past December. We are so excited to see more from this trailblazing team!
image via newstrib.com