When Ferraro was picked as Walter Mondale’s running mate, she was one of only 22 women among the 435 members of the House of Representatives. There were only two senators: Republicans Nancy Kassebaum and Paula Hawkins.
Now, there are 79 female representatives and 20 female senators. In 1984, there was only one female governor, Martha Layne Collins of Kentucky. It was only 10 years earlier that Americans elected the first female governor who didn’t succeed her husband: Connecticut’s Ella Grasso. Since then, 29 women have served as governors.
California and New York have never had a female chief executive, while Arizona has been governed by women for the past 17 years. There are almost twice as many female state legislators today as there were in 1984.
Yet for all that progress, women only occupy 24 percent of state legislative seats, 10 percent of the governorships and account for less than 20 percent of Congress. They make up 51 percent of the population.