Feminism 201: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), affirming the equal application of the U.S. Constitution to both females and males, is still not a part of the U. S. Constitution. The ERA has been ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 states. When three more states vote yes, the ERA might become the 28th Amendment.

The ERA was written in 1923 by Alice Paul, suffragist leader and founder of the National Woman’s Party.” She and the NWP considered the ERA to be the next necessary step after the 19th Amendment (Woman Suffrage) in guaranteeing “equal justice under law” to all citizens.”

The ERA was introduced into every session of Congress between 1923 and 1972, when it was passed and sent to the states for ratification. The seven-year time limit in the ERA’s proposing clause was extended by Congress to June 30, 1982, but at the deadline, the ERA had been ratified by 35 states , leaving it three states short of the 38 required for ratification. It has been reintroduced into every Congress since that time.

The 15 states that have not ratified the ERA are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Alice Paul

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