The women’s restroom at the Senate is all set for a face lift due to a new record number of female senators. The number of women has increased to 20, which is a fifth of the 113th Senate and the highest so far. The Senate’s infrastructural expansion is a physical acknowledgement of the need to upgrade. The new developments symbolize the upsurge in women entering politics at the highest levels of government.
“For the first time, there was a traffic jam in the Senate women’s bathroom,” said an amused Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) “There were five of us in there, and there are only two stalls.” As a result, renovations are underway to ensure women senators are not inconvenienced. Set to complete after the Senate’s August recess, the women’s restroom will be bigger in spatial area and have better facilities. “It’s a really positive sign of how things have changed here,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N-H) said.
Women senators have come a long way
Circa points out, “Just 20 years before the last election, a then-record 5 women were elected to the Senate in what was called ‘The Year of the Woman.’ All but one – Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the first and only African American female senator – are still serving.”
Women senators have a built-in network
The current female senators meet informally over dinner every few months. As The Washington Post reports, “The built-in network will now mean that even the most junior among them has the ear of nearly a quarter of the Senate.”
The United States still has a long way to go, however, before it can catch up to the percentage of congressional seats held by women in other nations. Rwanda (52 percent), Andorra (50 percent), Germany (34 percent), and Canada (29 percent) are examples of countries with a strong female political representation.