Research confirms the obvious: Women in Congress are the ones getting things done
If you’ve ever looked at our 80 percent male Congress and wondered how things would operate if there were more women involved, a handful of political scientists have the answer: it would probably be a lot more productive. Like, a lot. How do we know this? For starters, women in Congress overwhelmingly pass more bills than men.
A recent study of data compiled by Quorum, a startup by Harvard that looks at Congressional statistics, found that over the past seven years, female senators moved an average of 4.88 bills out of committee to be voted on, and on average saw 2.31 bills passed. In comparison, the average male senator has seen 3.24 bills move past committee and 1.57 pass.
And on legislation that’s pertinent to women, Michele Swers, a political scientist at Georgetown University, found there’s not even a question that women in Congress are “more likely to prioritize issues that have a direct connection to women,” such as violence against women, family leave policy, and women’s health and reproductive rights, Swers told Vox. In a paper Swers published in the 1990s, she noted that left-leaning female legislators co-sponsored an average of 10.6 bills related to women’s health, which is twice the average of 5.3 bills co-sponsored by their liberal male colleagues.
It’s also worth noting how male legislators are predominantly the ones passing legislation against abortion. There’s something obviously backwards and fucked up about men politicizing and making decisions about women’s bodies and what they can and can’t do with their uteruses. Sure, for whatever reason, there exist plenty of female legislators against abortion. But for the most part, female legislators tend to be more receptive to the critical importance of reproductive rights, and allowing women to be represented by lawmakers better suited to understand and empathize with them is hugely important.
And on a positive note, sure, Congress remains 80 percent male (and 80 percent white… and 92 percent Christian), but just over the past roughly 25 years, we’ve gone from having 33 female legislators to 104. It’s worth noting that, obviously, women are far less likely to be encouraged to run for office, whether by party officials or people in their day-to-day lives. So it really should hardly come as a surprise that women in politics tend to be more productive, as most already had to work harder to get there in the first place.
So, if you needed further proof that we need more women in Congress, there you have it. Let’s get more ladies elected to actually get shit done.