Rep. Maloney, Elected Officials, and Women’s Rights Advocates Rally Ahead of Monumental Week for Women in the House of Representatives

Feb 9, 2020
Press Release

NEW YORK, NY ​​—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined NYC elected officials and women’s rights advocates at the historic Roosevelt House at Hunter College to rally support for critical legislation expected to pass the House of Representatives this week. 


During the week of February 10, the House of Representatives is expected to pass  H.R. 1980, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act and H.J.Res. 79 to remove the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Ahead of this monumental week, the coalition of women’s rights advocates came together to celebrate these historic milestones in the fight for women’s equality.


“I have worked my entire career to make sure women are represented in the halls of Congress and in seats of power. This next week in Congress will be historic for women and a culmination of decades of advocacy. The passage of H.R. 1980 and H.J. Res. 79 is vital to celebrating women’s achievements in history, inspiring the next generation to make history themselves, and finally ensuring that women’s equality is enshrined in our Constitution. I am thrilled to take these next huge steps in the fight for women’s equality,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).


“I’m proud to support my colleagues in the House, including Congresswoman Maloney, on the eve of passing H.R. 1980 and H.J. Res. 79 to celebrate women’s history and to make women’s history — by removing the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Brave New York women of yesterday and today have been leading the long march for equality for more than 100 years, but it is still not over. We must still enshrine full equality for women in the U.S Constitution. It’s imperative that we keep fighting to make sure all Americans enjoy the full blessings of equality and liberty.” 


“I'm proud to stand in solidarity with my New York Congressional colleagues in calling for swift passage of H.R. 1980 and H.J.Res 79, two important pieces of legislation I am proud to cosponsor in the fight for women's equality here in America. These bills are well complimented; one is designed to help celebrate women's history, while the other looks to the future in hopes that someday soon we'll be able to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for all women in our Constitution. I thank my colleague Representative Maloney for her tireless advocacy on these issues. Women's rights are human rights,” said Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16).


“I am very pleased to salute Rep. Carolyn Maloney and the ERA coalition for their amazing leadership on the issue of women's equality. Thirty-two years ago, I had the honor of leading the Congressional effort to extend the ratification deadline for the ERA but our efforts were blocked by the forces opposed to women's equality.  Next week the House will remove the deadline in the preamble to the Equal Rights Amendment that has now been ratified by 38 states and pave the way for the ERA to become part of the constitution. America's women have waited too long for equality. But that equality cannot be stopped much longer,” said Former Brooklyn Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.


"As the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, we have a moral responsibility to continue the fight for full equality," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "In New York, we have taken action to protect the rights of women and all New Yorkers across our great state. We have accomplished a lot, but we still have more work to do. With strong advocates and partners like Rep. Carolyn Maloney, we must work together to secure equality for all and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.​"​


“An equal rights amendment to the U.S. constitution was first proposed 97 years ago in Seneca Falls. Since 1923, we’ve made incredible strides in the fight for equal rights — but there’s more work to do. As a member of the new Democratic majority in the New York State Senate, I was proud to help pass the Reproductive Health Act and other bills to protect women’s rights. At the federal level, New Yorkers are lucky to have Congresswoman Maloney as their champion in the fight for women’s equality nationwide. Ahead of major legislative milestones on H.R. 1980 and H.J. Res. 79 this week, I’m thrilled to stand with my friend Congresswoman Maloney in support of women’s rights,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.  


“The time is right, now more than ever to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. I commend America’s Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney, for her work and her leadership to pass the ERA for women and girls. At the New York State level, we are going to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to be added to the State Constitution. We can no longer stand by and watch our rights continue to be rolled back, so this is the year that we’ll make the ERA happen at state and federal level,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.


“Women’s rights are human rights, and women’s history is American history.  We need to enshrine women’s equality in the U.S. constitution once and for all and finally build a national museum of women's history on the Washington mall.  I’m proud to support Carolyn Maloney’s unrelenting efforts to achieve both,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried.


“I am proud to stand with Congresswoman Maloney and advocates as we head into what will be a historic week in Congress for the advancement of women’s rights. Now more than ever we need to clear the way for more states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and to enshrine protections against discrimination based on sex in our Constitution,” said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein. 


“I am proud of Congresswoman Maloney’s tireless work on the Equal Rights Amendment and her fight to create a National Women’s History Museum.  I fully support the House of Representatives in its move to approve these critically important measures.  They are long overdue, and we have a moral responsibility to lead on issues of equality for our women today, for our daughters and granddaughters who will inherit this nation.  We must act with their hopes and dreams in mind,” said Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol.


"We cannot tell the story of our country without recognizing the contributions of women of all ethnicities. The rich and significant history has yet to be fully acknowledged. The passage of this legislation will ensure all women are honored and bring us closer to ensuring the rights of women in America. New York City is proud to stand with Congresswoman Maloney in this historic moment and we thank her for her leadership," said First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray.


“Women have fought and sacrificed for equal rights for centuries, all while making massive contributions to our country in every field,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “Today, the hard work is not over. It is more important, now more than ever, to not only recognize the achievements of women throughout history to inform and inspire future generations, but also finally guarantee equal rights and protections against discrimination under the Constitution. I applaud Congresswoman Maloney for her leadership because women have waited long enough—the time to act is now.” 


"Passing these two historic pieces of legislation is crucial to ensure women's equality isn't just a concept we talk about but something that as a country we honor and live by," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "It is unbelievable that in the year 2020 the Smithsonian still does not have a museum dedicated to the great achievements of American women. I am proud to have supported Congress Member Maloney's efforts to make this a reality and cannot wait to see it come true. This week we will come closer to the ultimate goal: making sure women take their rightful place in the U.S. Constitution with an Equal Rights Amendment. Thank you to Congress Member Maloney for her decades of dedication to getting this passed."


The passage of H.R. 1980 and H.J. Res. 79 — legislation built by multiple generations and strong coalitions of women — will ensure that women’s history is celebrated in our country’s capital and that our fundamental rights, regardless of sex, are guaranteed in the Constitution. Thank you to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and the many tireless advocates who, in the 116th Congress, have championed women’s rights,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.


“Congresswoman Maloney has been fighting for these necessary reforms throughout her career. As she continues to lead on women’s equality, I congratulate her on a historic week ahead,” said Council Member Keith Powers.


Congresswoman Maloney is a longtime champion of the Equal Rights Amendment and it is exciting to see the ERA move forward. One hundred years after women’s suffrage, it is clear from pay inequity, gender-based violence, and so many other indicators that women and girls remain unequal in this country. The ERA will help end second-class citizenship. It is long overdue,” said Jessica Neuwirth, Co-President of the ERA Coalition, Distinguished Lecturer and Rita E. Hauser Director of the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, and Author of Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment is Now.


“We are excited to join Congresswoman Maloney today as we announce that the fourth annual Campus ERA Day will take place on Monday, April 27 th at 7pm. The ERA Coalition will work once again with the Grove Fellows at Hunter College to organize the annual event. Campus ERA Day will take on added significance this year now that the Equal Rights Amendment has satisfied all the requirements under Article V for inclusion in the U.S. Constitution,” said Carol Jenkins, Co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality.  


“Suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst famously said, ‘Never surrender. Never give up the fight.’ Representative Maloney has never surrendered her decades-long fight for equal rights and recognition for women. With these two bills, she is both making history and celebrating history. The lasting impact of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be felt by women and girls hundreds of years from now. They will look back at this historic vote in Congress and the nearly century-long struggle to put women into the Constitution at the women who never gave up the fight. I'm proud to stand beside Representative Maloney as one of them,” said Kate Kelly, Human Rights Attorney at Equality Now.


“I am proud to be at Hunter College's Roosevelt House, the home of Eleanor Roosevelt--who I had the honor of escorting many (58) years ago on her last college speaking engagement. Congresswoman Maloney's legislation, that we celebrate here today, marks another milestone for women's equality, in the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt's founding of the New York State Democratic Party’s Women's Committee,” said Trudy L. Mason, Vice Chair of NY State Democratic Committee and Founding Member of Eleanor's Legacy.


“I was in middle school shortly after the 1982 deadline to ratify the ERA ran out. Women’s contributions to American and world history were treated as optional footnotes in my classroom experience. I now have two children in middle school, and I know how much richer their education and their lives will be when our constitution and our nation’s capitol finally include and give meaningful representation and equal rights to this massive swath of humanity who identify as women. Thank you Congresswoman Maloney, for your bill to create the country’s first Women’s History Museum, and for never giving up on the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Caroline Laskow, 65th Assembly Part A District Leader.




Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

  • Rep. Maloney is the lead sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment and has reintroduced it in every session of Congress since 1997 (in the 105th Congress).


  • Congress passed the ERA in 1972, and was sent to the states for ratification. Unfortunately, by the time the deadline passed in 1982, the ERA was just three states shy of the thirty-eight necessary to amend the Constitution.


  • With Virginia's vote to ratify the ERA in January, three quarters of states have now ratified the ERA, making the amendment eligible to be added to the U.S. Constitution


  • H.J. Res 79 would remove the deadline for the ratification of the ERA to clarify any legal ambiguities that may exist with regard to the deadline and reaffirm Congressional support for the ERA.


H.R. 1980: Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act

  • In November 2016, a bipartisan Congressional Commission — created by a bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney — issued a report recommending the creation of a new Smithsonian Museum dedicated to women’s history.


  • In March 2019, Rep. Maloney introduced the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, to establish such a museum on the National Mall. The bill has broad bipartisan support with293 cosponsors in the house.


  • There is no comprehensive museum anywhere in the U.S. dedicated to the full story of women’s history.