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Kirsten Gillibrand: Congress Should Be 51 Percent Female

“The bottom line is, if we had 51 percent of women in Congress, we would have never spent the last two years debating access to birth control,” Gillibrand says. posted on

WASHINGTON — Congress would be more productive and fair if it was composed of at least 51 percent female lawmakers, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Tuesday.

“The bottom line is, if we had 51 percent of women in Congress, we would have never spent the last two years debating access to birth control,” Gillibrand said in an interview during BuzzFeed Brews.

But women aren’t just focused on different issues, Gillibrand said: They also approach legislating differently by “put(ting) aside party politics and self-aggrandizement.”

“Even the most conservative women in the Senate I have common ground with,” Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand, a vocal advocate for equal pay for women, said the Senate and Congress as a whole could learn from the comity shown by female legislators of both parties.

“We like to celebrate each other’s victories…and relate to each other as people,” Gillibrand said. “That commonality really drives us together.”

“We talk about the men,” she added. “But we don’t tell them what we say.”

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