- Powered by Google Translate.
By Roberta Madden (originally published in NC Policy Watch’s Progressive Voices)
Forty years ago, 90 percent of Iceland’s women took “a day off,” refusing to work, cook, or tend the children. In a powerful strike for equality, 25,000 women from all walks of life gathered on a Friday in the capital city of Reykjavik to listen to speeches, sing, and talk about issues. Schools, stores, businesses and other institutions shut down as Icelandic society nearly came to a standstill. Ten years later, 50,000 people rallied in Iceland’s capital to protest that some inequities remained.
Meanwhile, Icelandic voters elected the world’s first democratically elected female president. Although women there do not yet enjoy complete pay parity, Iceland does have the narrowest pay gap in the world, while other inequities have been resolved. In 2011 Newsweek named Iceland the best place in the world for women on issues of health, education, economics, politics, and justice.
Sadly, when it comes to women’s rights, the United States lags far behind Iceland and many other nations. American women still lack equal pay, and at the present snail’s pace will not get it until 2058. On average, women take home only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. Even more drastic are the figures for women of color: 68 cents for black women and 57 cents for Hispanic women. Over the course of their working lives, American women are paid anywhere from $700,000 to $2 million less than their male colleagues. Continue reading →
Because the crossover deadline has run out for legislation to pass one chamber in order to be considered in next year’s session of the General Assembly, North Carolina women must now wait until 2017, the next long session, for equal rights to be considered.
The measure, House Bill 166, introduced by Rep. Carla Cunningham and 31 others, had been assigned to the Judiciary 1 Committee. However committee chairman Leo Daughtry refused to schedule a hearing. “I don’t think it’s critical at this time,” he said, claiming that great progress has already been made in gender equality. Across the hall, Senate Bill 184 by Sens. Floyd McKissick and Terry Van Duyn died in the Rules Committee, often considered the graveyard for progressive legislation.
Although we didn’t succeed in getting the ERA ratified this year, advocates did make headway. Continue reading →
Watch the video and read the article by Jessica Ravitz on CNN.
Here’s an important message from our sister organization, NC4ERA. Please call or write these 11 members of NC House Judiciary 1 Committee and urge them to support the Equal Rights Amendment. In the article you’ll find each member’s telephone number. If you prefer to email simply click on the Representative’s name below their picture.
story by Beth Walton for the Asheville Citizen Times, March 5th, 2015
ASHEVILLE – Roberta Madden wants to live to see the day the Equal Rights Amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution.
At 78, the Black Mountain resident fears she is running out of time.
“It’s amazing to think how long I have been working on this — since 1972,” said Madden, who retired as director of racial and social justice at the YWCA in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seven years ago.
“The problem is no one knows what the ERA is, or they think it has already passed,” she said.
Ninety-two years after the landmark legislation was first introduced in Congress, some Western North Carolina women say it’s time to again try to win state support to ratify the ERA, an effort planned for this General Assembly session.
“We have a legacy of discrimination,” said Madden, who is the co-director of Ratify ERA-NC. [cont. reading]
“ERA is in the air,” according to Gailya Paliga, President of the NC National Organization for Women.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is the topic of a new book – “Equal Means Equal, Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is NOW” by Jessica Neuwirth in 2015.
Oscar winning actress Patricia Arquette used part of her acceptance speech to push for women’s equality Sunday night, February 22, 2015. Women “have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America!” she announced.
And the introduction of ERA in NC was big news at NC Women United’s Women’s Advocacy Day reception on Monday night, February 23, 2015. Rep. Carla Cunningham (D -Mecklenburg) announced that an ERA resolution would be introduced soon in the N.C. House of Representatives.
Rep. Carla Cunningham (D-Mecklenburg) Photo Credit: NCGA
Cunningham talked about her own experiences Continue reading →