Within the halls of Congress, women still Face an uphill battle for legitimacy.
At 33 years old, Sara Jacobs, a Democrat from the 53rd Congressional district, is California's youngest delegation member, and one of the youngest members in Congress period. This has lead to some interesting assumptions about her time within the chamber.
It seems members of the public, and even some congressional colleagues are still convinced she's an intern or somehow not supposed to be there. This isn't an isolated incident either.
It is a stark reminder, this Women's History Month, that there is still a long way to go on the subject of equal rights.
The First Women in Congress
The first woman was sworn into the House of Representatives in 1916, four years before women would have the Constitutional right to vote. That right wasn't granted until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
Representative Jeanette Rankin from Montana was a fierce supporter of universal suffrage and pacifism with regard to World War I.
Women in Congress in 2022
The Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be ratified, there has been progress on representation in Congress.
That representation has not been equally distributed across parties or ethnicity. While the number of women elected to Congress has been increasing, that has largely been in the Democratic Party.
As of 2021, there were only 37 elected Republican women versus 105 elected Democrats. The representation has been somewhat lopsided since 1971.
Representative Jacobs, in addition to facing hurdles around her gender, also faces issues related to her being young. The average age of Congressional representatives is more than 20 years older.
Representative Jacobs is up against two demographic roadblocks in her first term while she works for the 53rd district of California.