from Women Around the World and Women and Foreign Policy Program

Now's the Time to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

An activist uses a mobile phone as she participates in a demonstration for women's rights on January 21, 2018. Adam Berry/Getty Images

November 27, 2018

An activist uses a mobile phone as she participates in a demonstration for women's rights on January 21, 2018. Adam Berry/Getty Images
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The Equal Rights Amendment could find new life 46 years after it passed in Congress, only to fall short of the 38 states necessary for ratification. Now Virginia may be the state to resurrect the constitutional amendment, which declares that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex." Buoyed by the #MeToo movement and a body politic filled with women energized about making their constitutional equality a reality, support for the ERA has seen a revival in the past two years. Four decades after Indiana became the 35th state to ratify the ERA in 1977, Nevada signed on in March 2017 and Illinois followed suit in May of this year. If activists succeed in making Virginia the 38th, the ERA will serve as a reminder that legislation that is ahead of its time can find its moment, so long as supporters have the intestinal fortitude to press forward.

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Women and Women's Rights

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