July 22, 2023

GWC Statement on the 175th Anniversary of Seneca Falls and the 100th Anniversary of ERA

This weekend, in the town of Seneca Falls, New York, widely recognized as the birthplace of American feminism, we honor two significant anniversaries. We commemorate the 175th anniversary of the first women's rights convention and the 100th anniversary of introducing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). On this occasion, we reflect on how far we have come for gender equality and how much further we need to go to build a fair and inclusive society.

The men who wrote the U.S. Constitution all those years ago conveniently "forgot" to mention women's rights. Women were considered inferior to men and denied property ownership, voting rights, and even control over their own bodies. For generations, women endured a society that undervalued and underpaid them and treated them as second-class citizens.
This systemic gender discrimination directly opposes the democratic principles of equality and justice enshrined in our Constitution.

This centennial celebration also comes with a reality check. Across the country, state legislatures are rolling back women's rights, jeopardizing all the progress we've fought for. We cannot let future generations inherit fewer rights than our parents did!

Women's health, safety, and financial security are threatened like never before. We can no longer assume that our rights are equally protected in the Constitution because we are U.S. citizens. Since the Supreme Court's 2022 Dobbs decision took away 50 years of reproductive rights, more and more American women are realizing the extent to which the nation's founding document excludes them.

Yet, amid all these challenges, there is hope. The battle for equality that started a hundred years ago with the ERA's introduction is almost won, and we are so close now to achieving our goal!

Congress must act decisively and pass the two ERA resolutions currently introduced in the House and Senate, confirming the ERA is the 28th Amendment to the Constitution and must be published.

As we celebrate the Seneca Falls Convention's legacy and pay tribute to the ERA, it is the perfect moment to step up and ensure that women's rights and dignity are fully protected under the law. We are calling on Congress to do the right thing, not just for women but for the benefit of all citizens.

In 2023, there are elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia & Wisconsin. Americans overseas request your absentee ballot today at votefromabroad.org. Every vote counts.