Defensive Women: Women's Influence on Defense Policy in The United States Congress




Guerrero, Taylor Marie

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We see very few women leading the pack as defense experts and that has given very few role models to young women who want to work in that field. I strive to find if there are hidden leaders among women in Congress, in terms of the bills they introduce and the committees they serve on. Are Republican women more likely to introduce defense bills than Democrat women? I hypothesize that Republican women will fall inside of their party lines, and be stronger proponents for authoring defense bills, and that I will observe Democrat women falling inside their party lines meaning they are less likely to vote for defense increases. There have been 279 women to serve in Congress since the first woman was elected in 1917, and I will record each defense-related bill that they introduced and how they compared to the overall numbers of defense bills introduced that year. Through websites such as, the United States House of Representatives and Senate archives, the Congressional Bills Project and the Public Policy Agendas Project, I will track these women’s defense bill introductions through their years in Congress. Through this, I will have to control for some factors such as geographical differences, military bases in their districts and states, the committees they serve on and service in the military, as well as other factors that appear as the research gets longer and more intense.

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