The U.S. Congress has always been the center of representation of the opinions and attitudes of the country’s population. The representation of specific segments of the population in it is extremely important, first and foremost, to ensure that the opinions represented are long-standing. The proportion of women and racial and gender minorities in the U.S. Congress has increased over the past few years. According to statistics, the percentage of women holding congressional seats has increased from 19.6% in 2017 to 27.1% in 2022 (Center for American Women and Politics [CAWP], 2022). This trend reflects the growing relevance of the topic of gender representation in Congress. In addition, this pattern reflects the increasing liberalization of the political sphere. This suggests that the community is becoming more open to diversity, which in turn indicates a desire for equality. Although the number of women in Congress is gradually increasing, it is still several times lower than the number of men, which may indicate a continuing problem of gender underrepresentation (Bos et l., 2018). Regarding other minorities, the LGBT community accounted for 574 candidates (Flores et al., 2020).
After the selection, 11 openly LGBT representatives took their seats (Flores et al., 2020).
This number is relatively low considering the total number of congressional representatives, but it demonstrates clear progress toward liberalizing government. When it comes to raps minorities, the last 117th Congress has been called the most diverse in this regard. According to statistics, 59 black people, 46 Hispanics, 17 Asian Americans, and six Native Americans took their seats in the new assembly (Pew Research Center, 2021). This data is very encouraging because Congress is clearly moving toward ethnic diversity. Nevertheless, some groups still remain underrepresented in Congress. This is because members of Congress are chosen by a society that is not fully liberalized. Some white, heterosexual people do not understand the importance of minority representation and, accordingly, do not vote for such members of the legislature (Pew Research Center, 2021). Nevertheless, the trend toward greater representation of women and minorities in Congress is noticeable because its absence would lead to a flawed legislature. The underrepresentation of women and minorities affects the work of Congress because it can lead to biased decisions and legislation.
Additionally, even though women in Congress introduce more legislation than men, they still face more political rivals (Atkinson & Windett, 2019). For this reason, there is a need to move toward increasing the representation of minorities and women so that they have an equal say in passing laws. We, as a society, can also have an impact on equalizing minority representation in Congress. First and foremost, we need to elect representatives who are liberal about minority representation. It is much easier for people who are inside the system to influence its inclusiveness than those who are outside (Atkinson & Windett, 2019).
In addition, people can distribute educational materials about why equality and inclusion are the way to democracy, which is what our country needs. Only through an even distribution of votes in the legislature can true equality be achieved. Inclusiveness is a significant step toward making the voice of every citizen in our country heard. That way, people can learn about the benefits of representing women and minorities in Congress and also advocate for equality. In the long run, if we succeed in maximizing the acceptance and appropriate representation of these groups in Congress, we can speak of an almost complete democratization of society.
Atkinson, M.L., Windett, J.H. (2019). Gender Stereotypes and the Policy Priorities of Women in Congress. Political Behavior, 41, 769–789. Web.
Bos, A. L., Schneider, M. C., & Utz, B. L. (2018). Navigating the political labyrinth: Gender stereotypes and prejudice in U.S. elections. In C. B Travis, J. W. White, A. Rutherford, W. S. Williams, S. L. Cook, & K. F. Wyche (Eds.), APA handbook of the psychology of women: Perspectives on women’s private and public lives (pp. 367–384). American Psychological Association. Web.
Center for American Women and Politics. Women in the U.S. Senate 2022. Web.
Flores, A., Gossett, C., Magni G., & Reynolds, A. (2020). 11 openly LGBTQ lawmakers will take their seats in the next Congress. That’s a record in both numbers and diversity. The Washington Post. Web.
Pew Research Center. (2021). Racial, ethnic diversity increases yet again with the 117th Congress. Pew Research Center. Web.