The battles women fight everyday — for equal access to education, pay, and health care — would become conquerable if their rights were protected by the Constitution.
“The Alabama Senate and House are next in session on March 5, 2019- let’s get ERA voted on in THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION!”
The people of Alabama have the opportunity to have their voices heard and play a part in the making of herstory to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). As of today, Alabama may be a great opportunity for supporters and advocates of the ERA to be the last state needed to ratify the Amendment, whether it be through connecting with their state legislators, participating in demonstrations, or raising awareness through social media.
Call your representative now!
Alabama was a major battleground for the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The Montgomery Bus Boycott between 1955 and 1956, the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, the Birmingham campaign of 1963, and the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 were some of the many landmark events in the Civil Rights Movement taking place in the Yellowhammer State. Alabama was the home state of many civil rights activists, including Claudette Colvin, an African- American high school student who on March 2, 1955 at age 15 was forcibly removed from a bus in Montgomery by police after refusing to give up her seat to a white woman. Later in that year, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery on December 1, 1955 was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, allowing Parks to take leadership roles in the struggle for racial equality. Despite the historic role of Alabama in the furthering the cause of civil rights in the United States, Alabama was not the focus of activism regarding gender equality.
The Equal Rights Amendment did have some prominent supporters in Alabama, including Governor George Wallace, who announced his support in a telegram to Alice Paul dated July 20, 1968. After the passage of the ERA by Congress, however, Wallace changed his position, and a brochure outlining his platform for his Presidential campaign in 1976 stated his then-current stance: “Opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment but full rights to every woman. ERA takes away many rights that women now enjoy.”
To date, the Equal Rights Amendment did not pass either chamber of the Alabama legislature.
Recent Events In Alabama
For the longest time, Alabama appeared to be the longest of longshots with regards to ratification of the ERA. However, recent events and changing demographics might make ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment more palatable to residents of Alabama. The upset victory of Democratic
U.S. Attorney and civil rights prosecutor Doug Jones over the Republican candidate, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama Roy Moore on December 12, 2017 could portend a shift in attitudes among Alabamians.
Moore’s candidacy became defined in the media primarily by allegations of alleged sexual misconduct against women, particularly female minors. Conversely, Jones was lauded throughout the campaign for his successful prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan-linked perpetrators of the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, an act of racially motivated violence that killed four African-American girls. The election results can be seen as a repudiation of violence against women. Given the critical role of an Amendment ensuring equality under the law, elected officials and grassroots advocates may be more likely to support the ratification of the ERA in Alabama.
In addition, commentators in the media have especially credited African-American female voters for Jones’ surprise victory in a massively Republican and socially conservative state. Given that
African-American female legislators in other states, such as Senator Pat Spearman of Nevada, former Senator Arthenia Joyner of Florida, and Senator Angela Bryant of North Carolina among many, many others have championed, sponsored, or co-sponsored ERA ratification legislation, leaders in Alabama may become more willing to champion equality.
Another recent development is the demographic change in Alabama. Between 2000 and 2010, Alabama’s Latino population grew 145 percent, the second highest percent increase of statewide Latino population in the last decade behind only South Carolina. Two of the cities that have been gaining population in the state include Tuscaloosa and Auburn, the homes of the University of Alabama and Auburn University, respectively. Huntsville, another growing city in Northern Alabama, is the home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army’s missile development center Redstone Arsenal. Nicknamed Rocket City, a large percentage of Huntsville residents have degrees in science- related disciplines, including 20,000 residents with engineering degrees. As seen in other states, regions with higher educational attainment tend to favor gender equality.
Please call your State Senators and Representatives and encourage them to support the ratification of the ERA in Alabama.
Be sure to stay informed on news and events regarding the progress of the ERA through the Equal Means Equal website at www.equalmeansequal.org.
72% of Americans won’t join the fight for equal rights because they think the Constitution already guarantees them. We need your help to actually achieve that goal by adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Join our movement. Organize an Equal Means Equal event. Spread the word. We can get this done.
Join Equal Means Equal in Alabama to stay on top of the latest news and actions.
Let’s do this.
Want to do more? Let us know how else you can help.
Join the dozens of women’s organizations and thousands of women using the EQUAL MEANS EQUAL documentary film to reinvigorate the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment!
Host a screening in your neighborhood and help get the conversation going about the importance of the ERA. Click the button below to organize a screening in your community.
Democracy is a team sport. Let your ladies know our time is now.
We are closely monitoring the status of the ERA in Alabama and will be regularly updating this page with the latest news and details on how you can contact Alabama lawmakers to help them come to the conclusion that 96% of Americans have: All people are equal and should be treated equally under the law.
ERA Ratification in the United States: Only ONE more state is needed to ratify the ERA
37 wins! Thanks to these states for protecting the rights of Americans and fighting to usher in a new ERA.