SAN FRANCISCO — It shouldn’t be surprising that it took more than 200 years for Congress to select a female speaker of the House. The United States isn’t exactly at the forefront when it comes to women in politics.
Women make up a larger share of the national legislature in 79 other countries, including China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an association of national legislatures. The U.S. even trails a couple of fledgling democracies: Afghanistan and Iraq.
“When my colleagues elect me as speaker on Jan. 4, we will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is set to lead the House when the Democrats take over. “In more than 200 years of history, there was an established pecking order — and I cut in line.”