What happened to the push for the ERA in NC?

WNC legislator, activist weigh in for passage of ERA

by Kirk Ross/Carolina Public Press

RALEIGH—The Equal Rights Amendment, a landmark push to enshrine women’s equality in the U.S. Constitution, is in limbo again in North Carolina. Continue reading…

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NC lawmakers say “no” yet again to equality for women

By Roberta Madden (originally published in NC Policy Watch’s Progressive Voices)

On October 24 1975, 90% of Iceland's women refused to work, cook or look after children

On October 24 1975, 90% of Iceland's women refused to work, cook or look after children.

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

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Women's Advocacy Day at the NC legislature.

Pictured at Women's Advocacy Day at the legislature are women who participated in a press conference. Among them are Marena Groll of NC4ERA, left; Rep. Carla Cunningham, third from left; Roberta Madden of RATIFY ERA-NC, second from right; and Rep. Susan Fisher, right.

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

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Report: Wage gap hurts most vulnerable in NC

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Push for gender-equity amendment returns to North Carolina

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The New Women Warriors

 The new women warriors: Reviving the fight for equal rights

Watch the video and read the article by Jessica Ravitz on CNN.

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It’s time to call or write your NC representatives

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.


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Gloria Steinem on Black Women: ‘They Invented the Feminist Movement’

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WNC women call for passage of Equal Rights Amendment

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]

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Fearless Carla Cunningham and Introduction of ERA in NC

“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.

Rep. Carla Cunningham (D-Mecklenberg) Photo Credit: NCGAAnd 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

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