Landmark court rulings, laws and constitutional amendments have allowed women the right to vote, to make decisions about their reproductive health and to some degree, to receive equal pay for equal work. But women are not guaranteed equal rights under the United States Constitution. That’s why, for decades, women’s rights advocates across the country have supported an Equal Rights Amendment.
Nearly 50 years ago, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, barring sex discrimination. But thirty-eight states had to ratify it before it took effect. Earlier this year, Illinois became number 37 and a bipartisan group of lawmakers is campaigning to make Virginia the final, historic vote.
It’s not a given — there’s still pushback from conservatives in Virginia (grrr), and even if Virginia does become the 38th state to ratify the ERA, the deadline for ratification passed “decades ago”, but apparently there’s precedent for Congress extending or rescinding the deadline to allow an amendment to pass — but this is a long-overdue step, and this effort has bipartisan support. Good luck to Virginia, to the ERA, and to all the women in the country who could benefit from the ERA finally being ratified!