Senate to expand women's bathroom to accommodate historic numbers

Workers are currently renovating the two-stall bathroom to make room for a record number of female lawmakers

Published June 12, 2013 4:32PM (EDT)

A sign of progress   (Shutterstock)
A sign of progress (Shutterstock)

Female senators, having shattered the glass ceiling, will be rewarded with porcelain thrones after the summer recess.

Construction crews are currently renovating the women's bathroom off the Senate floor -- a paltry two stalls -- to accommodate the 20 female senators in the 113th Congress, a record high.

“We’re even going to have a window,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., told the Washington Post.

The symbolism of the crowded ladies room was not lost on Shaheen and her colleagues: “It’s a really positive sign of how things have changed here,” she said.

While 20 female senators is an all-time high, it's still actually pretty low since women account for, you know, half of the population; as Salon has previously noted, women make up 20 percent of the Senate and 17 percent of the House.

Clearly, we have a long way to go -- hopefully there are more bathroom renovations in Congress' future.


By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Bathrooms Congress Gender Gap Senate Women Women In Congress Women's Rights