Women made great strides in political representation in 2018. There has been significant media attention devoted to the historic gains women made in Congress, but the shift in political representation the states was equally significant. Women’s representation in state legislatures increased by more than three points in 2018 (from 25.4 percent to 28.9 percent of all state legislative seats). Nevada became the first majority women legislature and Colorado approached gender parity, with a legislature that is 47 percent women.
Although often presented as a non-partisan phenomenon, the gains in women’s representation across the board were due to Democratic women candidates’ victories. Democratic women gained about 300 state legislative seats in 2018, while the number of Republican women state legislators declined by just over 40.3
More than a year out from the “year of the woman,” the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and Quorum examined the impact of this changing representation in the states. In this fact sheet, we present new data on women’s state legislative achievements, including that women state legislators introduced and enacted more legislation than men over the past two legislative sessions.