Although only 3/4 's through 2012, this year has already seen a remarkable number of political men make public assumptions, gaffes and decisions surrounding women’s health that are, politely speaking, just embarrassing.

Granted, not all gaffes and misinformation have been as bad as the Tom Akin statement about “legitimate rape”, but with each day it appears that another piece of the Affordable Care Act comes under scrutiny or another state finds that its budget isn’t balancing and cuts have to be made somewhere. While women elected to hold office have to make these same tough decisions, an analysis of the current Congressional makeup might give a little insight, albeit a sad one, as to why so many ridiculous things are happening in 2012 regarding women’s health.

So who exactly is making decisions about women’s health in Washington, DC? Easy answer: older, mainly white men. Out of 541 Congressional seats, there are exactly 93 filled by women, or 17.2 percent of the members. Here is a current breakdown of your 112th Congress:

House of Representatives (441)

-Republicans: 240

-Democrats: 197

-Vacancies: 4

-Number of Women: 76

-Average Age: 57

-Average Time In Office: 10 years (5 terms)

Senate (100)

-Republicans: 47

-Democrats: 51

-Independents: 2 (Caucus with Democrats)

-Number of Women: 17

-Average Age: 62

-Average Time In Office: 11.5 years (2 terms)

For more information and a further breakdown of the current Congress, visit the House of Representatives website, the Senate website, or read the latest report from the Congressional Research Service.

Guest Author:   Nicole Fisher

 

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Comments

Thanks for that breakdown on who is voting on Womens Health issues. Definitely need more females in congress

How can we have equal representation when the balance of justice is so heavily slanted in one direction? Get out and vote.

Well that is pretty obvious if females consider that women’s healthcare isn't developing in the right way they should try and push more women in Congress.. of course it is not that easy but that is the best way to change something.

More could be done to encourage U.S. women to opt for IUDs and implants, according to Finer. In some other countries, the devices are much more popular: in France and Norway, for example, about one-quarter of women on birth control use IUDs or implants. And in China, a full 41 percent do, Finer’s team says in its report.

Great piece! On another level, the number of Latina and African American women in Congress is at an even larger disparity. However, men are not entirely to be blame. In presidential elections, women have voted in higher numbers than men for the past 50 years. The limitation comes in the form a small pool of women who "look like us" who are running for office. This highlights the need to support women in career paths which may bring them to serve in public office. More choice, more diversity?

Wow......I had absolutely no idea that our government was so gender biased! Thank you for this information. I don't know about y'all but I plan to try and vote more women into congress in the future. I'm not saying that i would vote for someone strictly out of gender, but after reading this article I think they will certainly earn extra points for being female.

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