Equal Rights for Women
Forty-six years ago, the United States Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee women’s equality in our Constitution, but it was never ratified by enough states to be adopted into the Constitution. Now, thanks to the women of this country who are speaking up like never before and declaring that we are tired of being treated as second-class citizens, two states have ratified the amendment within the last 2 years. Last night, Illinois voted to ratify the ERA, becoming the 37th state to do so.
As we see attacks on women’s rights, autonomy, and economic opportunity every single day from the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress, and with more and more women sharing stories of being sexually assaulted or harassed, now is the time to the pass the ERA. I have reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment 11 times during my career in Congress, but now more than ever I am inspired by the renewed enthusiasm that is building behind it.
Since my requests for legislative hearings or markups have gone unanswered, next week, on Wednesday, June 6, I am joining with the ERA Coalition to hold a hearing of our own so that my colleagues and the American people can hear from advocates and experts as to why we need to guarantee women’s equality in the Constitution now.
Amending the Constitution makes the simple, yet powerful, declaration that men and women are equals. Prohibiting discrimination against women in the Constitution sends a clear message that the days of discrimination against women are over. Without it, women’s equality is not guaranteed under the law and will not be upheld in federal court.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress