The Herstory of Women's Rights in the U.S.

We’ve been fighting for over 200 years, and we’re not stopping now.
In fact, women’s equality is the defining civil & human rights struggle
of this new century.

And without the Equal Rights Amendment, real change for women is not possible.

The ERA protects all Americans.

It encourages economic growth and paves the way for international leadership. Women, children, families, our communities, our future. When equality becomes law, everyone benefits.

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.

It is now up to us to act — to convince legislators in remaining unratified states to see ERA through, once and for all. It’s time the Constitution acknowledged women as equal citizens of this country, deserving of full human and civil rights.

The Equal Rights Amendment guarantees equality and respect for all people under the law. Only when equal means equal, can we all have justice and meet our true potential.