Equal Rights Amendment Reintroduced!

Contact your United States Congresswomen/men, and ask them to be co-sponsors of this bill.

Equal Rights Amendment
Over thirty years have elapsed since the Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (also known as the Women’s Equality Amendment). This historic Constitutional Amendment was intended to ensure equality for women and men in all areas of society. During the last 30 years, women have made extraordinary strides toward achieving equality– but without the ERA, women have often been denied the ability to seek justice when they have experienced discrimination. Today, state and federal laws and policies can still perpetuate gender classifications that keep women from achieving their full potential. Passage of the ERA affirms that such classifications are unconstitutional. Times change, and the need for equality is even more pressing than it has been in the past. This is why I continue to work for passage of the ERA, introducing it each Congress since I came to Washington.
Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 21, 2009
Contact: Jon Houston, Maloney, 202-225-7944
Reps. Maloney, Biggert reintroduce Equal Rights Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC –Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Judy Biggert (R-IL) today reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. House, along with Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and over 50 other original co-sponsors.

“Women have made incredible progress in the past few decades. But laws can change, government regulations can be weakened, and judicial attitudes can shift.  The only way for women to achieve permanent equality in the United States is to write it into the Constitution,” Rep. Maloney said. “These 54 words, when passed by Congress and ratified by 38 states, will make equal rights for women not just a goal to be desired but a constitutional right.”

“Thanks to the work of pioneers like Lucretia Mott and Francis Willard, American women have achieved a level of independence and equality once thought to be unattainable,” said Rep. Biggert.  “This amendment will carry on that tradition by forever enshrining the rights and freedoms of our daughters and granddaughters in the Constitution of the United States.  I’m proud to join Congresswoman Maloney and my other colleagues in this historic effort, and look forward to working with them to protect the basic liberties of women here and around the world.”

“We have long since passed the time when there should be any question that equal rights for women should be enshrined in our nation’s constitution. And, yet, there are still those who believe that simple equality is a radical and dangerous notion. Clearly, we have made extraordinary progress, but our work is not finished.  I am proud to join my New York colleague, Carolyn Maloney, and the many dedicated activists, in the reintroduction of the long overdue Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution,” Rep. Nadler said.

“The time is long overdue for a constitutional guarantee of equality between the sexes. Throughout the history of this country, women have faced systematic and purposeful discrimination.  Women were conspicuously absent from the Constitution when it was drafted more than 200 years ago, and today, women still have no explicit legal guarantee of equal protection. As such, we know the ERA must be ratified to ensure meaningful and lasting equality for all women,” Terry O’Neill, newly-elected President of the National Organization for Women said.

“Although women in the United States have made considerable gains in the last 40 years, we are now lagging behind the rest of the world in closing the gender gap. According to the World Economic Forum, the US ranks 31st of 128 countries overall, but 76th in educational attainment, 36th in health and survival, 69th in political empowerment, and 70th for wage equality for similar work. In the representation of women in our Congress, we rank 71st. Clearly, the US needs an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to help women overcome systemic sex discrimination in our nation,” said Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority.

“Women deserve equal rights. People might think my generation has forgotten, or doesn’t even know about, the E.R.A. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m proud to stand with the generation that produced the Carolyn Maloneys and Ellie Smeals, and hope our generation can continue to benefit from their efforts, with the implementation of the E.R.A. at last,” said Shannon Lynberg, National Director of the Younger Women’s Task Force.

The ERA was first introduced as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” at the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the 1848 Seneca Falls “Declaration of Sentiments,” considered the founding of the women’s rights movement in the U.S.  It came closest to ratification in the 1970’s, when 35 states approved it, falling just 3 states short of the two-thirds necessary for a constitutional amendment to be ratified.


For the full text of the bill, click here.

For more information on the ERA, click here


From http://www.care2.com/causes/civil-rights/blog/support-the-equal-rights-amendment/, 7/30/09:

Support The Equal Rights Amendment

posted by: Jessica Pieklo 2 days ago

Support The Equal Rights Amendment

Even though many in the media lauded 2008 as the year of the woman in national politics, according to the World Economic Forum, the United States ranks 69th out of 128 countries in terms of female political empowerment, 70th in terms of wage equality for similar work, and 71st in Congressional representation.  Armed with these numbers, and a renewed focus for final ratification, last week Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment for ratification. 

The history of the ERA perplexes many women’s rights advocates.  On March 22, 1972 the ERA passed the Senate and the House and was sent to the states for ratification.  The Amendment originally contained a seven-year deadline for the states to ratify it before it would officially become part of the Constitution.  Initial ratification efforts fell short, and this deadline was later extended to June 30, 1982.  This deadline expired with 35 of the required 38 states ratifying the Amendment. 

As it stands the ERA remains just three states shy of ratification.  Rep. Maloney’s bill proposes no deadline on the ratification process.  Working closely with Senator Edward Kennedy (D-NY), many see now as an opportune time to re-ignite the battle. 

The statistics from the World Economic Forum, current civil rights jurisprudence, and a push for Equal Pay legislation all make it clear that despite making inroads into corporate and political leadership, women still face widespread, systemic, and pervasive inequality in treatment.  As it stands right now, the prohibition on sex discrimination falls under a myriad of federal laws, none of which provides any comprehensive legal framework of protection.  Even the presence of the 14th Amendment does little to protect from sex discrimination as it does race discrimination since the Supreme Court has refused to evaluate sex discrimination claims under a "strict scrutiny" analysis that the 14th Amendment requires for other classifications, such as race, religion, and national origin.  The ERA would require that  courts treat sex discrimination the same way they do race, religion, and national origin discrimination- nothing more, nothing less.

Currently 22 states provide for equal rights on the basis of sex in their state constitutions.  Of those 22 states Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Utah, and Virginia have not ratified the federal ERA.  Women’s rights advocates are advancing efforts for ratification in those states as part of their push for final ratification.  If you live in one of the states that offer state protections but have failed to ratify the federal amendment, contact your lawmakers and insist they consider passage.  If we truly want to empower families then we need to make sure that our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, and our wives have the opportunity to compete honestly.  The Equal Rights Amendment creates that opportunity.


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