January 05, 2021
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
New Year's Resolution: Get Ready to Run®
The 2020 elections are over (mostly?), but the 2021 elections are just gearing up. Whether you live in a state where statewide and state legislative elections are happening this year, or your local elections are coming up, CAWP's Ready to Run® campaign training program has information and expertise to prepare you to run for office or deepen your political engagement. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, our flagship Ready to Run® program in New Jersey will be held virtually, with a series of sessions spread out between late January and mid-March, and will feature both sessions that are specifically focused on the political environment here in New Jersey and programming that is useful to candidates anywhere in the country. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer our 2021 Ready to Run® virtual programming free of charge.

In addition, our Ready to Run® partners in KansasPennsylvania, and Iowa are also holding ongoing virtual training sessions for women candidates over the coming months. Learn more about our national network partner programs here.
Women in the 117th Congress 
The 117th Congress was sworn in over the weekend, and CAWP has the data on the current number of women serving. These numbers will change due to undecided races and members leaving to join the incoming presidential administration, so be sure to stay tuned to our congressional facts page for the latest information.
  • 144 women will serve in Congress as of January 3rd, making up 26.9% of all members.
  • At least 118 (27.1%) women will serve in the U.S. House.
  • 26 (26%) women will serve in the U.S. Senate. This number will change when Senator Kamala Harris leaves to be sworn in as vice president, and it could also be impacted with Senator Kelly Loeffler's run-off election, which is occurring today. Loeffler was appointed to an ongoing Senate term and is still currently a member of Congress, so this number will fall should she lose.
  • 106 Democratic women will serve in Congress, 89 in the House and 17 in the Senate.
  • 38 Republican women will serve in Congress, 29 in the House and 9 in the Senate. In addition, Republican women doubled their previous record for non-incumbent women House members, with 18 new women Republican women joining the House. Read about the impact this influx of Republican women could have on the U.S. Congress in this CNN op-ed from our friend, and former U.S. ambassador to Austria, Swanee Hunt.
  • 52 women of color will serve in the 117th Congress, 48 in the House and 4 in the Senate. However, when Senator Harris leaves to ascend to the vice presidency, the number of women of color in the Senate will fall to 3, and there will be zero Black women in the chamber.
For more details on this data, see CAWP's press release.

CAWP and our partners at Higher Heights for America have released a snapshot analysis of Black women serving in the 117th Congress. The analysis shows that a record 26 Black women currently serve in the U.S. Congress, including 25 Black women in the House and 1 in the Senate. Black women remain underrepresented in Congress, where they make up 4.9% of total members, 5.7% of representatives, and 1% of senators. Black women are 7.6% of the U.S. population. The number of Black women in Congress will fall when Senator Kamala Harris ascends to the vice presidency and Representative Marcia Fudge leaves the House to join the Biden Cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Following Harris's departure, once again zero Black women will serve in the U.S. Senate. Find the full analysis here.
Support CAWP's Work by Becoming a Woman of Power 
Our annual Women of Power networking event, usually held at Marsilio's Kitchen in Trenton, has been cancelled this year, but you can still support our Women of Power fundraising initiative in 2021. Funds raised through Women of Power go to supporting CAWP's educational and campaign training programming, and will help offset the costs of making 2021's Ready to Run® virtual programs free to all. Supporters who join the Women of Power Host Committee receive special recognition on promotional materials, CAWP's website, and at virtual Ready to Run® and NEW Leadership® programs. Learn more about Women of Power, which is co-hosted by New Jersey's lieutenant governor and the women of the New Jersey Legislature, here.
Puerto Rico Senate becomes Majority Women 
The new legislature of Puerto Rico was sworn in this week, and the upper chamber of the body is now majority women, with women holding 14 of 27 seats. In the previous session, only 17.3% of Puerto Rico's overall legislature was women. Much credit has to be given to our Ready to Run® partner in Puerto Rico, Proyecto 85, which has worked to change perceptions of women in political power and prepare women to run for office.
CAWP in the News


Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8557
(848) 932-9384 - Fax: (732) 932-6778