SMU - Women in Congress, Breaking the Glass Ceiling

About the first edition of
 Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling

Book cover for Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling

At the dawn of the new millennium, only twenty-five percent of elected state legislators were female, only five states had female governors, and a mere fourteen percent of the members of Congress were women.

Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling provides a pathbreaking analysis of the obstacles to and opportunities for greater representation of women in Congress. Based on the stories of women candidates and the most comprehensive data on women and congressional elections from 1956 to 2004, Palmer and Simon explore how incumbency and entrenched attitudes toward female candidates affect women’s decisions to run for the House and the Senate.


Comments about the book

“For anybody wanting to run for office or wondering why more women aren’t elected to Congress, Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling explains the past, describes the present, and forecasts the future. The authors identify eighteen congressional districts out of 435 that are ‘woman-friendly,’ compared to 153 unlikely to welcome women candidates through 2010, a reality that perpetuates the ‘achingly slow pace’ of women taking their rightful place in Congress.”  
— Eleanor Clift, contributing editor, Newsweek