Equal Rights Amendment

Legislation | Documents/Reports | Links | Press Releases

Many people today take for granted that equal rights between men and women are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution – and are shocked when they learn that they are not. To this day, the right to vote is the only right guaranteed to the women who make up more than 50% of the population. That is why I have reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), to give women the constitutional protection they need and deserve.

The ERA passed in Congress in 1972, and was sent to the states for ratification. Unfortunately, by the time the allotted deadline had passed in 1982, the ERA was just three states shy of the thirty-eight ratifications necessary for inclusion in the Constitution. I believe the states deserve another chance to pass this historic amendment.

Women have made incredible progress in the past thirty-five years, but unfortunately judicial attitudes can shift, and Congress can repeal existing laws with a simple majority vote. In recent years, there have been efforts to roll back women’s rights in education, health, employment, and even domestic violence. As the great suffragist and author of the ERA Alice Paul said: “We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government.”

On August 1, 2013, I reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment (H.J.Res 56) in the 113th Congress. The ERA is a constitutional amendment which would prohibit denying or abridging equal rights under law by the United States or any state on account of sex. This critical amendment would guarantee the equal rights of men and women by:

  • Clarifying the legal status of sex discrimination for the courts, by making sex a suspect category subject to strict judicial scrutiny, as race, religion, and national origin currently are.
  • Guaranteeing equal footing for women in the legal systems of all 50 states.
  • Ensuring that government programs and federal resources benefit men and women equally.

Legislation:

08/01/2013 - H.J.RES 56, Equal Rights Amendment [113th Congress]

06/22/2011 - H.J.RES 69, Equal Rights Amendment [112th Congress]

07/24/09 - Text of H.J.Res.61, the Equal Rights Amendment

07/24/09 - Original Cosponsors in the 111th Congress

03/15/05 - H.J.RES.37, Equal Rights Amendment

03/12/03 - H.J.RES.37, Equal Rights Amendment [108th Congress]

03/22/01 - H.J.RES.40, Equal Rights Amendment [107th Congress]

03/24/00 - H.J.RES.41, Equal Rights Amendment [106th Congress]

03/20/97 - H.J.RES.66 - Equal Rights Amendment, [105th Congress]

Documents/Reports

07/24/09 - Facts About the ERA in the 111th Congress

05/01/05 - ERA public Awareness poll

03/01/05 - Statistical Snapshot of American Women

03/01/05 - ERA endorsements

03/01/05 - Constitutional Amendment Process

03/01/05 - Some Facts You Should Know about the ERA

03/01/05 - ERA packet for 109th Congress

02/15/05 - Dear Colleague letter to ERA

08/23/04 - CRS report on ERA: State Provisions

08/19/04 - CRS report on ERA ratification by the states

08/31/04 - Ratification Status in the States and States ERA

03/18/03 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA to Republicans

03/11/03 - ERA packet for 108th Congress

06/25/02 - Dear Colleague on ERA and Wage Gap

05/15/02 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA and House Leaders

04/30/02 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA and public opinion

04/26/02 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA

04/17/02 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA and Wage Gap

04/17/02 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA and best states for Women

04/10/02 - Dear Colleague letter on ERA and International Women’s Rights

03/22/01 - National Council of Women’s Organization Statement on ERA

06/03/99 - CRS Report on ERA: State Provisions

Links: 

White House Statement on Equal Rights Amendment

Women Are Equal

More on Equal Rights Amendment

Mar 19, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) spoke at the United Nations Beijing+20 Event on March 12, 2015. Her remarks as prepared follow: 

Thank you Ellie, and thank you Kathy for inviting me. 

It’s wonderful to see Peggy Kerry, and Bonnie Erbe from PBS, and I’m delighted that we are joined by our relatively new Global Ambassador for Women, Cathy Russell.

I was first elected to Congress in 1992, along with 47other women, in the so-called Year of the Woman. 

Aug 26, 2013 Press Release

New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) was joined by many women leaders, including Liz Abzug, President of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute; Kathy Bonk, of Communications Consortium Media Center; Zenaida Mendez, President of NOW-NYS; Marilyn Abalos, of New York Women’s Agenda today, today, on Women’s Equality Day, near Washington Square Park, to announce and celebrate Congresswoman Maloney’s new and improved Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which, for the first time, would include women in the U.S. Constitution. They also joined together to kick off Congresswoman Maloney’s day-long Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk tour.

Mar 22, 2012 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – At a rally on Capitol Hill today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today marked the 40th Anniversary of the original passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) with renewed calls for support of the measure, which they introduced in the current Congress.

Jun 22, 2011 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment at an event just outside the Capitol.

“The Equal Rights Amendment is still needed because the only way for women to achieve permanent equality in the U.S. is to write it into the constitution,” Rep. Maloney said. “While it’s been thrilling to see how far women have come in my lifetime, laws can change, government regulations can be weakened, and judicial opinions can shift. Making women’s equality a constitutional right—after Congress passes and 38 states ratify the ERA—would place the United States on record, albeit more than 200 years late, that women are fully equal in the eyes of the law.”

“The WalMart case decided by the Supreme Court this week is a classic example of how far attitudes must still come. The facts of the case support the view that over a million women were systematically denied equal pay by the world’s largest employer,” Maloney said. “While the ERA would apply only to government action, its effect would be sweeping, historic—and long overdue.”

Jan 6, 2011 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Gwen Moore, along with representatives from national women’s organizations, joined outside the Capitol today-- as the U.S. Constitution was being read on the House floor-- to highlight the absence of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and restate the need for its passage.
Jul 21, 2009 Press Release
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.
Mar 28, 2007 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), and Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, announced the reintroduction of the Women’s Equality Amendment  (H.J.Res. 40).  The Senators and Members of Congress were joined by leading women’s rights groups at a press conference this afternoon and expressed their commitment to making sure that women finally achieve official equality in America.
Mar 15, 2005 Press Release
 WASHINGTON, DC - American women still do not constitutionally have equal rights under the law, even though the U.S. ensured equal rights for women in the Afghan constitution. Polls have shown that most Americans support equal rights, but they think they are already guaranteed in our Constitution. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), John Dingell (MI-15) and Rob Andrews (NJ-1) were joined by leading women’s groups at a press conference today as they re-introduced the bipartisan ERA.
Aug 24, 2004 Press Release

NEW YORK, NY - Rep. Carolyn Maloney made the following statement at a press conference in support of New York State Senator Tom Duane's introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment for New York:

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