It's time to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment
Despite a slow march towards women’s equality in the United States, women are still not afforded equal protection under the law because the Constitution does not specifically prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Women are at risk, and still suffer discrimination in areas like employment, pay, healthcare and education.
The Equal Rights Amendment would amend the Constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. It would give women the same protections afforded men, and allow women to use the courts to advocate for full equality.
The truth is, while the ERA isn’t going to be passed any time soon, we could win an important procedural battle by passing legislation to remove the deadline for ratification by the states.
Tell your representatives in the House and the Senate: Bring back the ERA -- we’re still fighting for women and men to have equal protection under the law.
When the ERA passed Congress in 1972, an arbitrary and unnecessary timeline was imposed -- ratification by ¾ of the states was required within seven years. That deadline was later extended by three years, to 1982. Now, more than 20 years later, 35 states have ratified the amendment – three short of the required 38.1
Deadlines are not required by the Constitution, but have been at times imposed by Congress. Many amendments, including the 19th, which gave women the right to vote, have gone to the states without deadlines. Others have taken decades to reach their ratification threshold, including the 27th Amendment, which prohibits immediate congressional pay raises and was ratified 203 years after its introduction.
Constitutional scholars have concluded that Congress has the power to undo the ratification deadline attached to the ERA. Removal of the ratification deadline would allow activists to continue to advocate for ERA ratification in their home states and help remove an antiquated impediment to women’s full equality.
Now is the time to remove the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment, and advocates have planned a petition delivery and lobby day in September.
Tell Congress: The Constitution should offer the same protections to women and men. Help keep the ERA alive.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said she’d like to see the ERA become part of the Constitution. Explaining herself, she said, “I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion – that women and men are persons of equal stature – I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”
Thanks for everything you're doing for women's rights.