, 2023-01-08 10:54:55,
WASHINGTON — After days of false starts, the House of Representatives voted Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to be the new speaker, and the 118th Congress was sworn in. But the demographic composition of the new House of Representatives and Senate may raise some questions about how truly “representative” of the nation these bodies are. The numbers on gender, race, and religion differ markedly from the broader American population.
Let’s start with the most obvious difference, the gender. Women make up about half of the US workforce and make up more than half of the US population overall, but they still lag behind in representation in Congress.
And they are not close to half of all members. When everyone is seated, women will make up less than a third of all House and Senate members in the 118th Congress, about 28%, according to data from researcher Stephen Wolf. This is a record No. for women.
There are plenty of possible reasons for that, of course. Not all workplaces were opened to women at the same time, and politics, as a profession, was particularly late in welcoming them into it. Remember, there has never been a woman president, and 18 states have not elected a woman governor.
However, the gap is notable and problematic in terms of hearing voices and points of view. When a group makes up more than half of a country’s population, it probably makes up more than 30% of its primary legislature.
There are similar gaps around race and ethnicity….
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