It is hard to believe, unfathomable actually, that gender equality under the law still eludes us in the United States. This is why we need a constitutional amendment, the 28th Amendment, that makes gender equality the law of the land in the U.S., and one that can not be easily taken away, as we have seen across many states in the past several years.
AAUW National states it best:
The progress our country has made on gender equality through the courts and patchwork legislation can be reversed. Sex discrimination does not have the same legal protection as other constitutional classes, such as race, religion, or nationality. This constitutional double standard means that hard-won legislative and court victories against sex discrimination are not permanent—and can be rolled back or difficult to enforce.
The lack of constitutional equality reaches every aspect of women’s lives. The ERA would clarify, once and for all, that sex discrimination in employment and wages, reproductive rights, insurance, Social Security, education, and more is a violation of constitutional rights. Importantly, the ERA would also provide new opportunities to seek legal recourse when an individual faces sex discrimination and would place the burden of proof on those who discriminate instead of those fighting for equality. (“Where We Stand: Equal Rights Amendment – AAUW : Empowering Women Since 1881”)
Our approach now, given that 38 states have ratified the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment]t as of early 2020, is to force the Archivist of the United States to publish the amendment via a lawsuit by the states of Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia; a joint resolution, passed with bipartisan support in the House in 2021, to force the Archivist to publish the Amendment and to remove the 1982 date that was originally assigned to state support; and a new resolution, nicknamed the “start over amendment” which states largely the same points as the original ERA.
The ERA Coalition, of which AAUW is a member, stated in April, 2023 after the Senate did not vote for cloture on the bipartisan resolution to affirm the ERA:
A bipartisan majority of Senators are now on record in favor of affirming the Equal Rights Amendment as valid and removing the time limit, reflecting the will of the vast majority of the American public. But still, a minority of Senators are hiding behind the Senate’s archaic rules instead of saying what they really mean: they’re against equality. Let’s be clear, the Equal Rights Amendment didn’t fall short, democracy did.
Opponents are hiding behind a procedural excuse because they know that if the ERA resolution came to the floor, equality would win. (“ERA Coalition Statement on the Senate Failing to Advance Bipartisan Resolution to Affirm the Equal Rights Amendment and Remove the Time Limit”)
We need your continued support!
- Please contact your congresspeople to support HJ Res. 82 ERA Now by clicking here.
- Sign the latest petition from the ERA Coalition here.
- Follow the ERA Coalition to stay up to date and advocate on all future petitions here.
“ERA Coalition Statement on the Senate Failing to Advance Bipartisan Resolution to Affirm the Equal Rights Amendment and Remove the Time Limit.” ERA Coalition Blog, 27 April 2023, https://eracoalition.blog/2023/04/27/era-coalition-statement-on-the-senate-failing-to-advance-bipartisan-resolution-to-affirm-the-equal-rights-amendment-and-remove-the-time-limit/. Accessed 17 September 2023.
“Where We Stand: Equal Rights Amendment – AAUW : Empowering Women Since 1881.” AAUW, https://www.aauw.org/resources/policy/position-era/. Accessed 17 September 2023.