On May 30, 2018, the Equal Rights Amendment was finally passed by the Illinois House. It only took about 100 years, but hey. It is an historic moment for the women – and men – of Illinois. Yay Illinois: But it is still not a federal amendment to our constitution.
Let’s Talk About This
Did you realize that women are not considered equal under the law? You aren’t alone.
According to the website Equal Rights Amendment.org, 78% of the population believe women are already constitutionally protected. We are not. Shockingly, only 94% of those polled believe men and women should have equal rights under the law. Who are the 6% who don’t think women should have equal rights? Baffling.
Women and supportive men have been piece-mealing women’s rights over the last century, which is great. But it is not enough. Women and those who support them continually have to battle issues such as birth control access. It makes sense to ratify the ERA and put it into our constitution, to officially recognize that men and women are equal under the law. Other countries have legally recognized women as equals – but not the United States.
Here are a few tidbits of information about the ERA:
- The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote – in 1920.
- In 1923 the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced. Alice Paul was a rock star.
- In 1972, that’s 49 years later, Congress passed the amendment and sent it off to each state to ratify. They had 8 years to do so. However, after ten years (they were given an extension), only 35 states had approved it – they only needed 38 – to make it a part of our Constitution. Seriously.
- In 2017 Nevada became the 36th state to approve the ERA Amendment.
- Illinois is number 37. It only took 95 years!
- Five states actually wanted to withdraw their support of the ERA. They cannot.
- This isn’t about abortion laws. It’s about equality under the law.
- We only need one more state to ensure women are equal. (The Madison Amendment of the Constitution has allowed contemporary ratification of the ERA Amendment.) Do you live in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, or Virginia? Contact your representatives – perhaps your state will be the one to finally tip the scales on this important amendment.
I credit the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement for the tsunami-like momentum in the women’s rights realm. Perhaps soon women will finally be recognized as equal under the law. We’ve come a long way, baby, but we’ve only just begun to shatter ceilings and find our voice. And to all the people – men, women, and everyone in between – who support, legislate, and march for women’s rights – Thank You.
Let’s get this done – not just for our daughters, but for our sons as well.
Isn’t it time?
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