The 2018 midterm elections ensured that the House is now far closer to equality than it's ever been before.
A record number of women overall were running for office, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, and a record one-third of the candidates running for the House were women of color, according to Emily’s List, a Democratic-leaning nonprofit that supports women in politics.
The result: Female candidates of all races, sexual identities and ages won in record numbers, making up the largest and most diverse class of congresswomen the country has ever seen.
Women make up 50.8 percent of the approximately 325 million people counted in the US Census, but the research suggests that they're nowhere near making up an equal share on Congress. Torsten Sløk, New York–based chief international economist with Deutsche Bank Securities, has been charting the recent spike in women seeking office.
According to Sløk, analyzing trends that date back to 1917 suggests that Congress won't achieve gender equality until the year 2215. However, the recent spike in women has moved this number along.
However, women and organizations disrupting the status quo in a real way — like what we witnessed in the groundbreaking 2018 election — can move this projection forward.
And research suggests women will keep changing the status quo in American politics. More than four in 10 Americans personally hope a woman will be elected president in their lifetime, according to Pew Research Center. About six in 10 Americans (61 percent) say it’s a good thing that more women are running for U.S. Congress this year than in the past.
Hopefully, more and more women will run (and win) in each election, so we won't be waiting nearly as long for gender parity in politics.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report,