the

Why We Need An Equal Rights Amendment

eighty percent of Americans believe men

and women are guaranteed equal rights in

the US Constitution you might be

surprised to learn this isn't the case

to understand why we need to look at the

history of a nearly hundred year old

piece of legislation called the Equal

Rights Amendment or the er a the Equal

Rights Amendment was written in 1921 by

a leading group of women's rights

advocates they believed systemic

discrimination based on gender would

continue unless we adopted a

constitutional amendment to explicitly

give women the same rights as men in all

areas of life and not just at the voting

booth some version of the e ra was

introduced to Congress every year from

1923 to 1971 but it failed to pass every

time the big break took almost 50 years

as a new generation of activists wrote

the momentum of the civil rights and

women's movement of the 1960s the Equal

Rights Amendment was finally approved by

both the House and the Senate in 1972

but there was one last hurdle for an

amendment to be added to the US

Constitution it must be ratified by

three-fourths of the states thus 38 out

of 50 states only 35 states ratified the

amendment in the 1970s before an

opposition campaign brought the progress

to a halt by the 1980s most people

assumed the amendment was dead and that

brings us to today a new generation of

activists has taken up the cause and

riding the momentum of the me2 and times

up movements to more states have

ratified the ER a bringing it just one

state shy of reaching 38 State threshold

it's important to understand why we need

the Equal Rights Amendment in the first

place while it's true that gender

discrimination is illegal in major areas

of life such as employment and housing

without a solid constitutional basis for

it laws and norms could change and leave

women unprotected as a result to quote

Antonin Scalia certainly the

Constitution does not require

discrimination on the basis of sex the

only issue is whether it prohibits it

it doesn't many states have already

included some version of the e ra in

their state constitutions and support

for the amendment is overwhelmingly

bipartisan with over ninety percent of

Democrats Republicans and independents

supporting it so what can you do the

biggest challenge here is false

perception

most Americans believe that men and

women are already guaranteed equal

rights so they don't think that the

Equal Rights Amendment is needed the

easiest thing you can do is help to

break that perception within your circle

of friends and family the second thing

you can do especially if you live in any

of the states that haven't ratified the

amendment is to contact your local

representative and ask them to support

this overwhelmingly bipartisan piece of

legislation beyond the symbolic victory

the Equal Rights Amendment can serve as

a legal basis for protecting women in

all areas of life we're long overdue but

we can and must do the right thing

moving forward peace