Gender Representation and Effectiveness in Congress

Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science


The lack of parity in gender representation in Congress is a large issue. An even larger issue lies in the relative power of the women representatives. Females in Congress often have different agendas than that of their male counterparts. They are more likely to introduce legislation specifically benefiting women. If women are not effective while in Congress, those issues are less likely to pass. This presentation will examine if women are more effective when there is a larger proportion of female representation in Congress. I will compare the effectiveness of women in Congress when there is a smaller proportion of women in the legislature compared to years when there is a larger proportion. The effectiveness of women will be measured using the Legislative Effectiveness Score developed by Volden and Wiseman (2010). This score was developed for each member of Congress and is "based on how many bills each legislator introduces, as well as how many of those bills receive action in committee, pass out of committee and receive action of the floor of the House, pass the House, and ultimately become law."

First Advisor

Julia Hellwege

Research Area

Political Science

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