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The Senate now has more women than ever before

EMILY's List Breaking Through 2016 at the Democratic National Convention Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images For EMILY's List

The newly elected Senate is on track to have more women than ever before.

The body will have at least 21 women senators in 2017 — an increase from the 20 women in the current Senate. Newly elected women to the Senate include Illinois Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth and Nevada Senator-elect Catherine Cortez Masto, who is also the first Latina to serve in the Senate.

More women in the Senate makes the body more representative of America. While we’re still far from gender parity — men still outnumber women four to one in Congress — we’re taking more steps in that direction.

There is evidence that more women in the Senate will change what the body talks about and how it governs. Women legislators, for example, are more likely to introduce legislation that specifically benefits women. They’re better at bringing funding back to their home districts. And, to put it bluntly, they just get more shit done: A female legislator, on average, passed twice as many bills as a male legislator in one recent session of Congress.

Women bring a different background to Congress. They face different obstacles to success than their male colleagues — and sometimes more obstacles to winning office. That shapes how they govern and what issues they choose to focus their time on.

To read more about how women govern differently, check out this piece that summarizes the research. And follow Vox’s ongoing election coverage here.

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