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)
-Number of Women: 76
-Average Age: 57
-Average Time In Office: 10 years (5 terms)
-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