Please ask all your members to join the Global Women’s Caucus during Women’s History Month.
Here’s a short history lesson on the Equal Rights Amendment.
The U.S. Constitution excluded women when it was written in 1776. Women were not given the right to vote until 1920 when the 19th amendment was ratified. Alice Paul, one of the leading suffragists, promoted adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was first introduced in Congress in 1923 – yes, 100 years ago!
The 19th amendment states: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
The proposed Equal Rights Amendment states: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
In 1972, the U.S. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment and sent it to the states to be ratified. Due to backlash on “women’s lib” in the late 1970’s, it did not achieve the 38 state ratifications, 3 states short, by the suggested deadline in the preamble. Constitutional lawyers are still debating whether a deadline in a preamble matters or not. Around 2010, several unratified states started initiatives to ratify it. Nevada ratified it in 2017, Illinois ratified it in 2018, and Virginia ratified it in 2020. The constitutional requirements for an amendment had been met. Unfortunately, the Trump administration had the Department of Justice halt the U.S. Archivist from publishing it. It is still in limbo whether the ERA is the 28th amendment or not.
Democrats Abroad unanimously passed a resolution in 2018 to form a task force in support of the ERA. Since then, the ERA Task Force has helped educate our members about the status of the ERA but more importantly why it is still needed. The task force has promoted several campaigns most notedly, our efforts in 2019 to elect pro-ERA candidates in the Virginia House and Senate, paving the way to the ratification once the newly elected Democrats were in office.
This month, Women’s History Month, we are asking that our members hold small birthday parties in commemoration of the 100 year fight for women’s equality in the Constitution. The party is to promote awareness about the ERA and why it is important. Click here for more details.
We are also asking everyone to contact your Senators and House Representatives voicing your support for the ERA. There are resolutions in the Senate and House to clarify that the ERA is the 28th amendment. We need to make sure they know we care. Click here for how to contact your Senators. Click here for how to contact your Representatives.
If you would like to stay abreast of the Equal Rights Amendment and other women’s issues, please join the Democrats Abroad’s Global Women’s Caucus. The caucus is for everyone, not just women. Let’s work together for equality for all.
Contact Shari Temple ([email protected]), ERA Task Force Chair, if you would like to get directly involved.
DA Global IT Team Chair
DA Germany Voting Rep
DA ERA Task Force Chair