chapter  6
16 Pages

Understanding the Glass Ceiling

The "Party Gap"

In 1966, six of the eleven women in the US House of Representatives were Democrats, while five were Republicans; the party distribution among the female members was virtually equal. In 2006, of the seventy-one women elected to the House, fifty, or 70 percent, were Democrats and only twenty one were Republicans, the biggest difference between the parties in history. In May of 1919, the House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment by a vote of 304 to 89. It passed in the Senate two weeks later, 56 to 25. It would take over a year to get the 36 states needed for ratification. The Commission report recommended that women, racial minorities, and youth should be represented in state delegations "in reasonable relationship to their presence in the population of the state." For the most part, however, national party commitments to recruiting and running women for public office have been mostly rhetoric.