Legislative Gender Equality in the Northwest

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Ross Burkhart


A major concern in the United States is the underrepresentation of women in State Legislatures. Based on data from Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, the growth of female representation has stagnated since the mid 90’s. I will examine this trend, and attempt to answer two important questions: what factors have caused the stagnated growth, and why some States have grown in gender representation at faster rates. I will compile a case study of the States in the Northwest, due to its high diversity of population, partisanship, institutional factors, and urbanization. Preliminary data suggests that partisanship is a key factor in why some State Legislatures are more or less gender representative. Anticipated results include that institutional influences, and urbanization will also be critical. This study will help define what interest groups, parties, and other interested organizations can do to turn the tide of progress of gender representation within their respective States.

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