A Woman's Place Is In The House...Of Representatives

AP US Government and Politics

Which three states have never had a woman representative in the House or the Senate?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this information?

  3. How did your own state and district do in regards to female representation?

  4. What story does the map tell?

  5. Do you notice any big geographical patterns in the map?

  6. Explain whether this is a happy map or a sad map.

  7. Why do you think these three states have never had any representation?

  8. What is one consequence of never having elected a female for these three states?

  9. Vermont and Mississippi are about as politically and culturally different as any two states could be. Why do you think they both agree on not having female representatives?

  10. It's been said that the gender of the politician isn't important, what matters are the policies they fight for. In the comments section, explain whether you think this statement is true:

Learning Extension

Check out this great article and interactive map at Vox where you can find out about female representation in your own state and ditrict.

Action Extension

Vote for a woman or convince someone else to vote for a woman. Better yet, lobby your political party (Emily's List for liberals, the NFRW for conservatives) to run women for office. Or best of all, if you are a woman, run for office.

Bonus Maps

This is Not My Beautiful House

AP US Government and Politics

How closely does the US Congress demographically mirror the American people?

Source: Good

  1. What most surprised you about this chart?

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. Why do you think the chart is the way it is?

  4. In what way is Congress demographically least representative?

  5. Why does Congress not more accurately mirror the US?

  6. Who does Congress represent?

  7. Who benefits the most from this demographically unrepresentative congress?

  8. Write your own question about this chart:

  9. This data is from the 113th congress. How do you think this information was different in the 1st Congress and how will it be different in the 120th Congress?

  10. In the comments section, describe your version of what the ideal congress would look like.

Learning Extension

Check out this Guardian interactive to find out how much Congress looks like you

Action Extension

Crowdsource your friends for a list of ways to make the US Congress more representative of the US. Share your best idea in class, online or tweet it to @UsGoPoPro

Source: http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/11...

Obstacles to Equality?

AP US Government and Politics

Do you think that most Americans agree with the following statement: "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men."

Pew Research Center    AP US Government and Politics

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this data?

  3. Do you believe that, "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men." 

  4. Give one example to support your opinion:

  5. According to the data, what demographic groups most agreed with the statement that, "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men."

  6. Why do you think Republicans and Democrats have such different views on this issue?

  7. What would be a good title for this chart?

  8. What do you think this data would have looked like 30 years ago, and what do you think this data will look like 30 years from now?

  9. What are some obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead that have been removed in the past half century?

  10. What are some remaining obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead that remain?

  11. Imagine you were the head of an interest group trying to remove obstacles to equality. Describe 2 methods your interest group could use that would be the most likely to produce change.

  12. Explain what role political socialization plays in this data.

  13. What does this data tell you about current American political culture?

  14. How do the Americans' attitudes about obstacles to women vary by race, ethnicity, gender, and education level?*

  15. In 1972 the Equal Rights AMendment** to the constitution was passed by 2/3 of congress and then was sent to the states to be ratified. 35 states ratified the E.R.A., but that did not meet the 3/4 threshold (38) states needed to ratify the amendment. If you were asked to vote on this amendment, explain how you would vote:

  16. WHat does the map of states that ratified the E.R.A. tell you about the geography of equality? *

Visual Extension*

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The Equal Rights Amendment**

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Learning Extension

Read this Pew report on attitudes about gender and obstacles.

Action Extension

List all the obstacles you can think of that make it harder for men to get ahead. List all the obstacles you can think of that make it harder for women to get ahead. Make a chart/poster/flyer about this and post it on the wall of your school or on social media.

Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension


The Absolute Worst US State for Women!

What is the worst US state for women?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What criteria do you think Movehub used in determining this ranking?*

  4. What would be the most important criterion for you, personally, in deciding what state was best for women?

  5. How much choice do most people have in what state they live in?

  6. How Much choice do you have about where you live?

  7. How did your state rank in terms of the status of women?

  8. Why do you think that is?

  9. Do you see any geographic patterns in this map?

  10. What do you think explains those patterns?

  11. Explain the connection between this map & federalism.

  12. If we lived in a unitary system, what color would all the states be?

  13. What policy position could Oklahoma take that would improve it as a place for women to live?

  14. Given that Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in America, how likely is it that they will implement policies making life better for women?

  15. Describe how Conservatives and Liberals would disagree about the role the government should take in making life more equal between men and women.

  16. If you overlaid the chart above with a map of the states won by Trump and Clinton in the 2016 Presidential mud wrestling match/election (see below)* how would the two compare?

  17. If you were a poor woman in Oklahoma and saw these rankings and thought, "My goodness, I need to move to Hawaii or Vermont right now!" What is the percent chance that you could just do that?

  18. Do you think Oklahoma is proud of being the worst state for women?

  19. How do you think the female representation in the legislature and government compares between Hawaii and Oklahoma? (See map below)*

  20. If you made a map of the best and worst COUNTRIES for women, what do you think the top 5 and the bottom five would be?*

Learning Extension

Read the Movehub article about how they ranked the states.*

Action Extension

Find out how your state ranks. Contact your state's governor, congratulate them/embarrass them about their ranking, and offer them one suggestion about how to improve/maintain their ranking.


Global rankings of best and worst places to be a mother.**


Our World in Data Extension

A Woman's place is in the House or the Senate

What % of the seats in the 116th U.S. Congress will be held by women?

NPR     *Note: these numbers could change as final votes are tallied.


*Note: these numbers could change as final votes are tallied.

  1. How Perfectly Accurate was your prediction?

  2. Describe one trend you see in the charts?

  3. How do you explain that trend?

  4. What is one consequence of that trend?

  5. Is this trend good or bad news?

  6. Would it be fair to call 2018 the year of the woman?

  7. Before you get too happy or angry about these numbers: If 23% of the Congress is female, what is 77% of congress?

  8. While the number of Female Democrats in congress is increasing, the number of female republicans is falling. Why do you think that is?

  9. If you were to extend the trends from this chart, what percentage of the two houses would you predict will be female by 2040?

  10. At the same time As the US Congress has become less popular it has become more female. Explain whether there is any causation in this fact.

  11. What is one policy that you think will change in the 116th congress since more females than ever are in the U.S. Congress?

  12. There is a debate about whether Nancy Pelosi should resume the job of Speaker of the House in the 116th Congress. Based on your knowledge of U.S. politics and the data in the chart, make a claim about whether Pelosi should be elected Speaker.

  13. In terms of gender parity, how do you think the U.S. Congress compares to other countries around the world?*

  14. has your state ever been represented in either the Senate or the House by a woman?*

  15. Explain how voter turnout and demographics in the 2018 midterm election impacted the number of women in the 116th U.S. Congress.*

Visual Extension

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Learning Extension

Check out this 538 analysis of the Year of the Woman.

Action Extension

Survey your friends and classmates. Ask them if they would like to run for Congress. Analyze the Data by gender and share your results in class or online.

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