The Equal Rights Initiative
The ultimate goal of the Equal Rights Initiative is to reach a future where people of all genders - male, female, or non-binary - have equal rights under federal law. To achieve this, we believe that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) must be added to the Constitution of the United States of America once and for all.
What is the ERA?
The amendment simply states:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
If it were to pass all genders would be legally entitled to equal rights, nobody could be discriminated against based on sex, and fair and equal pay would be the law of the land.
Did you know...
A recent poll by the ERA Coalition shows that 94% of Americans support the principles of the amendment (regardless of gender, age, or political affiliation). Meanwhile 80% think it already exists in the Constitution. The truth is that in 2018, all genders do NOT have equal rights under federal law.
Women’s movements of today, such as #MeToo and Time’s Up, are full of powerful momentum, but we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. It is time to act now. We have been fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment for nearly 100 years. Only by raising awareness and gathering support will we have a chance of passing it.
The ERA was first proposed by Alice Paul, founder of the National Women’s Party, in 1923 after the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. Through the decades, it was met with significant opposition from those who believed that it would threaten existing power structures and what at that time represented traditional family values.
It did not move forward until the Women’s Liberation movement of the 60s and 70s brought it back into public attention. Motivated by the momentum of the civil rights movement, women came together to demand their own equal rights. Finally, in 1972, the ERA was passed in the House and the Senate with two-thirds majority and was sent to the states for ratification.
But the fight was far from over. By the 1982 deadline, only 35 of the required 38 states had ratified the amendment. On top of that, five states rescinded their ratification almost immediately, though the legal status of these motions is still unclear.
The Equal Rights Amendment has been brought to congress every year since 1982 ...
Finally, in 2017, Nevada ratified the ERA, 35 years after the deadline, arguing that the imposed time limit is irrelevant.
This paved the way for Illinois to follow suit in May of 2018.
Many experts agree that this puts us only one state away from potentially adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.