by Ellie Kinnaird (former state senator and mayor of Carrboro)
Last year, I attended a program advocating for passage of the long-defunct Equal Rights Constitutional Amendment: “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Arising out of the passion of the women’s movement, many of us worked hard to persuade the General Assembly to pass the ERA. But the opposition, led by Sen. Sam Ervin – our famous Watergate hero – and Phyllis Schlafly was working just as hard. While we came within one vote, North Carolina’s conservatism just couldn’t be overcome, and its defeat was the nail in the coffin of the Amendment….Read Kinnaird’s entire guest column in the Chapel Hill News
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a packed Lisner Auditorium on Friday that she sees one glaring error in the U.S. Constitution: It lacks an amendment that promises equal rights for women. Read the story here at GW Hatchet by staff writer Avery Anapol.
By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
Can you imagine pregnancy being a fireable offense? How about job security hinging on your weight or the softness of your hands? What if you couldn’t open a bank account or establish a line of credit unless you had a husband to cosign for you? What if you had the grades to attend a school like Princeton, but your gender kept you on the other side of those hallowed, ivy-covered halls?
It was not so long ago that this was the reality for women. If you’re 45 or older, you were born into this world… cont.
Let Your Voice Be Heard– Pledge to VOTE in 2014!
Every vote counts. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be so many working so hard to keep us from doing it!
Want to see things change? Take our pledge to wield your voting power in support of equality, and let our ‘one voice’ emerge and be heard!
We’ll take your voice with us to Washington and present the list of pledge signers to members of Congress during the Day of Action on Friday, Sept. 12.
Pledge to Vote here
Drafted by a suffragette in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment has been stirring up controversy ever since. Many opponents considered it dead when a 10-year ratification push failed in 1982, yet its backers on Capitol Hill, in the Illinois statehouse and elsewhere are making clear this summer that the fight is far from over.
By Congresswoman Jackie Speier, lead sponsor of H.J. Res. 113
Our Constitution granted women the right to vote 94 years ago, but efforts to ban discrimination based on sex have never earned constitutional status. This gaping legal hole was summed up recently by conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “Certainly the Constitution does not require(discrimination on the basis of sex). The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”
Women today aren’t guaranteed equal pay for equal work and are subjected to restrictions on contraception and family planning services, unfair workplace conditions and laws that favor the perpetrators over victims in cases of sexual assault. The need for constitutionally guaranteed equality remains shamefully overdue. How can we have “liberty and justice for all” when a prohibition against sex discrimination is missing from our nation’s blueprint?
The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until 1972, the year it finally passed. The amendment required ratification by 38 states, but fell three states short.
The 15 states that have not ratified the ERA are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. The Illinois Senate passed the ERA in May and the Illinois House is set to vote on it in November.
The ERA would provide women with remedies to combat discrimination in pay equity, pregnancy accommodations, contraceptive coverage and domestic violence. Currently, women face a double burden when they are victimized. They must first prove the violation happened, and then they must also prove intent to discriminate based on sex. The ERA would banish this “intent” requirement forever. Continue reading →
By Laura Carter Callow
This year, I’m really excited about presenting the ERA Update because there is so much positive going on with the Equal Rights Amendment.
Currently, there are three ERA Resolutions in Congress. Two of them are called the start-over measures because that’s what we would have to do—start over. Get both Houses of Congress to approve by a two-thirds vote and then get thirty-eight states to ratify.
The first start-over bill is in the Senate. It is identical to the 1972 version that we all know so well: “Equality of rights …” There is no House version of this bill.
The second start-over measure is in the House. It contains two sentences. The first reads: “Women shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.” The second sentence is identical to the wording of the 1972 bill. Continue reading →