MALONEY: "A NEW E.R.A. FOR NEW ERA"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) was joined by a bipartisan team of her male colleagues when she introduced The Equal Right Amendment for the 107th Congress. Mrs. Maloney introduced her bill with over 160 original co-sponsors.
At the event, Congresswoman Maloney made the following statement:
"The Equal Rights Amendment is an important step forward for women and men. Today I am joined by my friends and colleagues to re-introduce the ERA. Twenty-nine years ago, the Equal Rights Amendment passed both Houses of Congress. It eventually was ratified by 35 states, just 3 states shy of final ratification. On this Anniversary, I am proud to re-introduce -- with more than 160 original cosponsors -- the Equal Rights Amendment.
"We are in a new millennium, we cannot continue to leave women back. The ERA - the guarantee of equality -- is too important to women, men and families. The Equal Rights Amendment is a simple concept: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Now, progress has been made and times change, there are 61 women Members of Congress and 13 women Senators, compared to March 1972 when there was only one woman Senator and 10 women members.
"And, as this century closed, women cast ballots millions of times more than men. Everyone talks about the gender gap, in the 2000 presidential elections, according to a report released by EMILY's list, there was a 22-point gender gap, the biggest since the gap began to appear in the Reagan era. In terms of sheer numbers, just recently, the Census Bureau announced that there are 6 million more women than men in the United States.
"There are more women in the workplace than ever before. Their salaries are very important to their families - 33 million men have working wives, and married women and their families lose an average of $4,205 a year because of women's lower wages.
"There is still discrimination in insurance, in social security, in pensions. The pension gap is higher than the earnings gap. As a society, we have not provided support for families -- child care, elder care, paid family leave - the family support often falls on women. If their pay suffers, the family suffers. The glass ceiling is still present and strong!
"For instance, according to a recent study released by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, in the private sector, of all the 'Clout Titles,' including Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Vice President, and so on, only three percent of executives from media, telecom and e-companies surveyed were women with 'Clout Titles.' And only 4 percent of the highest-ranking corporate officers are women. A few women have achieved true equity, but most are stuck in the pink ghetto.
"Yes, we have a patchwork and piecemeal set of legal protections that try to ensure equality under the law: the Equal Protection Clause, Title IX, the Equal Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and so on. BUT, laws can be changed, repealed or swept away. It is a glaring gap in our body of laws not to have the full force of constitutional backing, not to have an ERA.
"Gender must have the same level of judicial review as the other protections that combat the many forms of discrimination. Support the ERA in this new millennium. Onto passage!"