In 1776, we as a nation declared that all men are created equal, endowed with inalienable rights, while women were left marginalized to fight for equal treatment. For more than 230 years, the discrimination of over half our country’s population has proven itself a cultural and economic American cornerstone.
Nearly a century-and-a-half later, in 1923, American suffragist Alice Paul, wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. Embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike, ERA was considered a common sense resolution to the Constitution’s shortcomings. Yet still, even with broad-sweeping bipartisan backing, for over fifty years, the ERA struggled to see the light of day.
Then in 1972, after years of hard-fought work by millions of American women and their allies, the ERA passed in both houses of Congress. Supported by Republican President Richard Nixon, 35 states went on to pass the amendment — falling three short of the 38-state requirement.
Most recently, after 40 years of inaction, Nevada and then Illinois became the 36th and 37th state to pass the ERA, breathing new life into the idea that equality for all could soon be the law of the land.
While the ERA has not yet passed, we are closer than at anytime in American history to making ERA the 28th amendment to our United States Constitution. Closer than ever before to lawfully protecting all American citizens from the perils of gender discrimination, at home and in the workplace.