Since 1917, when Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman to serve in Congress, a total of 399 women have served as U.S. Representatives, Delegates, Resident Commissioners, or Senators. This website, based on the publication Women in Congress, contains biographical profiles of former women Members of Congress, links to information about current women Members, essays on the institutional and national events that shaped successive generations of Congresswomen, and images of each woman Member, including rare photos.
Women in Congress, 1917–2020, is available as an ePublication from the Government Publishing Office.
In this section, users can find tables and appendices of historical data about women in Congress, including: women in Congress by Congress; committee leaders; party leadership positions; women of color in Congress; and women who have marriage and familial connections in Congress.
This page features materials designed to help teachers and students use the information presented in Women in Congress in their classrooms. It includes lesson plans as well as activities on photographs, objects, and memorable quotations. An interactive map and a list of online educational resources also are included.
Complimentary copies of the Office of the Historian publication Women in Congress are available for educators, subject to availability.
View artifacts from the House Collection related to the history of women in Congress, from portraits to political campaign buttons.
Use the interactive map to compile information on the representation of women in Congress, such as the number of women who served from a particular state or region and when they served.
What is the difference between apportionment and realignment? What is a discharge petition? What does the word quorum mean and how does it relate to the House of Representatives? These and other relevant congressional terms are defined in this glossary.