Women in The Oregon Legislature

by Hugo Gonzalez Venegas

If a representative elected body is the foundation of our democracy, then understanding why more women do not hold elected office is an important question with implications on the legitimacy of our democracy. Women account for a little over fifty-percent of the total population of the United States, but account for only a small portion of the federal Congress. On the State level the numbers are better, but not by much. Since the passing of women’s suffrage in Oregon in 1912, women have been serving in elected office. I pose to show how the women who have served in the Oregon legislature shape the type of legislation that passes each session. From the historic 1973 legislature that passed more feminist-leaning laws than ever before, and the disparity of representation today, where women only make up a little over twenty-five percent of the state senate and only one-third of the state house chamber.Read More »