U.S. Congress

Congressional representation is worth 30% of the Gender Parity Index score. Thirty points are divided between the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. A state with six or more representatives in the House could receive as many as 15 points based on the percentage of its House delegation that is female. For example, if a state’s House delegation were half female, then the state would receive 7.5 points (half of 15). The remaining points would be allocated based on how many times women have won in the state’s last four Senate elections. Five points are awarded if a woman won one of the last two elections, and 2.5 are awarded if a woman won one of the two before that. A state like California, where women won all of the last four elections, would receive the full 15 points, whereas a state like Massachusetts, where a woman won only the most recent election, would receive five points. 

In order to account for potentially large fluctuations in the percentage of women in U.S. House delegations with fewer than six members, we adjusted how many points these House delegations would be worth in the Gender Parity Index. States with five representatives could earn a total of 14 points for its House delegation and 16 points for its senators, while a state with four representatives could earn a total of 13 points for its House delegation and 17 points for its senators, etc. Then, in states with one or two House members, we included a point allocation similar to the one used for gubernatorial elections. States receive half the available points for the number of women elected to the House from the state in 2014, and then a quarter each for the 2012 and 2010 elections. For example, a state like Wyoming – where a woman won the single House seat in 2010, 2012, and 2014 – would receive a total of 10 points those elections (5 points for 2014 and 2.5 points each for 2010 and 2012), and would then have 20 points available for its last four senate elections.

See how many points your state received in our report, Gender Parity Index 2017, for its members of Congress here. 

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