Global IT Team Chair; Global Womens Caucus Steering Team; ERA Project Coordinator; Membership/IT Coordinator, Germany; DPCA Representative, Germany

  • tagged Jane Strassguetl's I have Equal Rights in Germany but not when I'm in the U.S. with approved 2021-03-18 04:40:05 -0400

    I have Equal Rights in Germany but not when I'm in the U.S.

    I've been an American living in Germany since 1972 and truly appreciate the democratic freedoms and standards that are protected under the German Grundgesetz or Basic Law. I fully support the ERA amendment to the US Constitution because it clearly and emphatically supports equal rights for all men and women. It is important that this amendment be enshrined in the Constitution to guard against unfair, arbitrary discriminating and biased acts and practices as well as violence against women. It would protect the equal rights of both men and women and people of gender. I am opposed to the efforts of those few states objecting to the ERA amendment based on technical questions, spurious deadline obstacles or reasons of form. It begs the question as to the motive why those states object to equal rights for all residents. Jane, living in Germany, voting in Illinois

  • tagged Margaret Jones' It's that simple. And long overdue! with approved 2021-03-17 16:55:29 -0400

    It's that simple. And long overdue!

    “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.“ Pretty simple. As a young girl and teenager, I remember how excited my mom, friends and I were about the ERA. NOW and Martha Griffiths were actively making progress in our name! It seemed inevitable and the right thing that the ERA would be passed and ratified. Decades later it still has yet to be fully ratified. Honestly that feels horrible and is a betrayal of all Americans, keeping over half the population down, limiting them in fully blossoming into all they can and want to be. How can that be good for the health and strength of a country? That was also the era when my mom, as many other women, signed and was known as “Mrs. Willard Jones”. Luckily that has ended (I think even in Austria). We all have the right to a personal identity as well as equal opportunities and options. It is long overdue that the basic human and civil rights are guaranteed for all. Adding the ERA as an amendment is an important part of that. I know it is what my mother, Betty, would be thrilled about and proudly boast, “we finally did it!” We = USA.  I live in Germany, vote in Colorado.

  • tagged Anthony Nitz's The ERA From a Veteran's Perspective with approved 2021-03-17 16:55:03 -0400

    The ERA From a Veteran's Perspective

    Dear Member of Congress, Federal courts have ruled that the ERA cannot be included in our great nation's Constitution because the 1982 deadline has passed. This will go up to the Supreme Court. I cannot change what the Supreme Court thinks or what it may decide to do, but what I can do is talk with you. If I can convince you to join me in my support for extending or removing the deadline, the ERA may yet become ratified as the 28th Amendment. This would be a momentous victory for women in all walks of life. Veterans like me have watched the role of women in our nation's military grow ever closer to equal standing with men. In 1917, Loretta Walsh became the first woman to join the military outside of the Nurse Corps. In 1920, women finally had their own voice in elections when the 14th Amendment was ratified. In 1947, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (later President!) commissioned Colonel Florence Blanchfield into the US Army as a Lieutenant Colonel making her the first woman to ever hold permanent rank. Soon after, in 1948, Congress passed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act that made women a permanent part of the US military. In 1970, Colonel Anne May Haes became the first woman to ever hold a flag rank when she was promoted to Brigadier General. In 1976, the first women were admitted to the US Service Academies. In 1990, Commander Darlene Iskra became the first woman to command a US Naval vessel, paving the way for women to start serving on combatant ships in 1994. In 1993, Major General Jeannie Leavitt (then a Lieutenant) became the first female fighter pilot. In 2002, Command Sergeant Major of the US Army Reserve Michele S Jones became the first woman to become the enlisted head of a branch of the US military. In 2008, General Ann Dunwoody became the first woman to achieve four star rank. In 2010, the Department of the Navy authorized women to serve onboard submarines. In 2011, the first group of women checked on board. In 2015, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat roles, paving the way for the first groups of women to enter into the infantry in 2016. Now, in 2021, we have an opportunity to add to this list of achievements made by American women: passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. With this, the role of women in American society cannot be made less than ever again. Thank you for your time and consideration, PO2 Anthony Michael Nitz, USN, Retired NC-5 Voter Living in Vietnam

  • tagged MacKenzie Horn's For my children's future with approved 2021-03-17 15:28:34 -0400

    For my children's future

    I've recently gotten engaged, and it's made me think a lot about the kind of world that I want my children to grow up in. My mom was younger than I am now when the fight for the ERA began - I don't want my children fighting the same battles! I want them to grow up in a country where their rights are enshrined in the constitution, regardless of their gender. -Kenzie, Arizona voter living in London

  • tagged Angela Fobbs' What Do We Want? Equality!- When Do Want it? NOW! with approved 2021-03-17 15:28:06 -0400

    What Do We Want? Equality!- When Do Want it? NOW!

    I live in Germany, but I spent most of my life in the country of my birth, the United States of America. In Germany, I have equal rights, and it has improved the quality of my life. It's taken too long for women in America to have equal rights, and it's unfair. When I was a girl, people told me I could be anything I wanted, but it's not true.

    Employers can pay women less than men for the same job. The first time I realized I wasn't getting paid as much as a recently hired man, I immediately went to my boss. My boss told me the man had a family and need to make more. My family's needs were the same as his family's. Why is this okay? It is acceptable because women don't have equal rights under the Constitution, so we don't have equal protection under the law. Having women in Congress, as the Vice-President, and in other positions of "power" is a hollow victory if the average woman faces legal discrimination in so many areas of her life.

    My mother, my sisters, and I have been waiting all our lives for equality under the law. There is no reason for us to keep us waiting. Equality must be enshrined in our Constitution.

    Eighty-four percent of countries, including Afghanistan, Japan, and Tunisia, explicitly guarantee equality in their Constitution. It's about time American women also have equal rights.

    Angela Fobbs, Florida voter, living in Germany

  • tagged Jonah Otto's The Time Has Definitely Come! with approved 2021-03-17 13:25:09 -0400

    The Time Has Definitely Come!

    Since studying the story of the ERA movement's history at the University of Southern Indiana, I have felt driven to contribute however I can to it's eventual addition to the US Constitution. As a white man who has always benefited from the protections that the Constitution grants me, it is my duty to be an ally and add my voice to those of everyone else who stands united demanding equality in the provision of our nation's foundational legal document. The time was then and the time is now! Indiana Voter living in Germany

  • tagged Kristy Koth's For my mom with approved 2021-03-17 12:41:14 -0400

    For my mom

    This is a picture of my mom and me at the Women's March in D.C. on Jan. 21st, 2017, her 73rd birthday. We'd been planning our trip to Washington for months - thought we'd be going to watch the first woman President get sworn in. My mom has fought for women's rights her whole life, so I thought she should be there on that historic day. I still hope we'll be there, when that day finally arrives. In the meantime, I'd like her to see passage of the ERA. FINALLY. That it's taken decades to accomplish is a blemish on our country. A disgrace. If we are ever going to reach the American ideal that all are equal under the law, we can start with this one easy step, to declare that half of the country are not second-class citizens. Please extend the deadline for passage and give women the constitutionally protected equality every person deserves.  Live in Germany, Vote in Washington

  • tagged Meredith Wheeler's A New Yorker for the ERA with approved 2021-03-17 12:40:44 -0400

    A New Yorker for the ERA

    My mother aspired to be a doctor—but as an undergraduate at Northwestern just prior to World War 2, she was discouraged, because of her gender. America lost a great doctor. However, some 70 years later, her granddaughter, graduated from Georgetown Medical School and now is a practicing child psychiatrist in Menlo Park. Progress has been made. But one pillar of that campaign for equal rights and equal opportunity—the tent pole that should be at the epicenter--is missing from our Constitution. And that is the Equal Rights Amendment. Women--and people across the gender spectrum--still face discrimination. Official recognition of our equal rights deserves to be enshrined in our nation’s founding document. During my career in New York broadcast news, I benefited from the women’s movement of the seventies, which campaigned against widespread discrimination against women in the media. Barbara Walters was hired as the first evening news anchor—and the optics required that she have at least one woman writer on the network news staff—and that was me. But at various times in my career I bumped up against overt and disguised sexism--and finally crashed out of ABC News, with a concussion from repeatedly banging my head against the glass ceiling. The USA likes to portray itself as a world leader—yet we lag behind many other nations that already have constitutional guarantees for equal rights for women. The U.S. Constitution reflects the attitudes of its era—written entirely by white, privileged men. Our founding document needs to evolve to meet the social and cultural realities of our time—and more concretely to provide essential support for litigating sex discrimination cases in the courts. Under the last administration, we witnessed an intensified backlash against the advancement of women’s rights. We must now move forward now—and the ERA amendment is a key element in the progress, for the sake of our daughters, granddaughters and young women everywhere who have so much to contribute if given a fair chance. Meredith Wheeler lives in France and votes in New York

  • tagged Kari Hiepko-Odermann's Let's not "make the best" out of what we know we can do Better with approved 2021-03-17 12:40:16 -0400

    Let's not "make the best" out of what we know we can do Better

    In 1975 North Dakota ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. At about the same time, there is a picture of my Grandmother Helen at her college graduation. In her late 50s, Helen had gone back to college to get her 4-year teaching degree. She had been a teacher all her life, from one room pioneer schoolhouses to reservations, to small North Dakota towns, she had always made the best out of her situation. Once, when offered the chance to teach a new subject, she stayed up all night sewing her first pair of trousers so she could teach phy-ed the next morning. Her innovation was recognized and in the 1960s Helen was offered a job at the state capital to create school curriculum. She was unable to get her husband’s permission to accept the offer, so Helen kept teaching locally and continued to make the best out of her situation in an over 40-year long career. Situations that women must make “the best out of” are my reason for supporting the ERA. These situations are rarely acknowledged in society and not at all in the United States’ current legal and judicial systems. Social Security, taxes, wages, pensions, domestic relations, insurance, and violence continue to be seen in a framework based only on the male experience. Women were never part of “the people” mentioned in the US Constitution and later amendments promised equal protection and voting rights only for men. There have been many attempts to make “the best out of” the current constitutional situation – and, sometimes, rulings have been interpreted to benefit women - but there are still no assurances. In my home state of North Dakota, some are arguing that the states’ ERA ratification in 1975 was a mistake; that women don’t need any additional recognition or protection under the constitution. This, while women in the North Dakota state legislature have never had more than 22% of the seats, and for each dollar a man earns, women in North Dakota earn 27 cents less. I support the Equal Rights Amendment because I want a world where women don’t have to problem-solve and make “the best out of” situations. I want a world where women in North Dakota, and America, can just BE their best.  Lives in Ukraine, votes in North Dakota

  • tagged Marjorie Rosenberg's In honor of all those who have paved the way with approved 2021-03-17 10:14:57 -0400

    In honor of all those who have paved the way

    Growing up in a household with a mother who was an early feminist always led me to believe that I could do anything I set my mind to. My mother was a World War 2 veteran who served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy. She worked in a variety of positions including as a code breaker of codes in German having studied it in college. However, when she became pregnant, she was forced to resign her commission, something that still made her angry years later and she wrote about it in her personal entry at the Women's Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. She went on to become a business studies teacher and an active member of the League of Women Voters. I have also experienced the unequal treatment of the sexes throughout my career as an overseas teacher of English and teacher trainer. Women make up the majority of the profession and yet in many cases the schools are run by men and keynote speakers at conferences often include few women, although, due to the strong voices in the profession. this is finally beginning to change. The fact that the ERA has not yet been passed, however, is something incomprehensible. How can the concept of equal rights for all still be an issue in today's world? In memory of all those who have gone before me, I urge Congress to make the Equal Rights Amendment part of our Constitution. The passing of this bill is long overdue.  Marjorie, live in Austria, vote in New Jersey

  • tagged Thorin Engeseth's It's self-explanatory with approved 2021-03-17 10:12:53 -0400

    It's self-explanatory

    The United States has for too long touted the ideals of equality, without actually practicing them. The ERA is a crucial step toward equality for all in the United States. Our charge as Americans is to work for equality and equity at home so that everyone can prosper, everyone can participate in society, and everyone can benefit. Thorin, South Carolina voter in Germany.

  • tagged Fiona MacDonald's I don't want the ERA but... with approved 2021-03-17 09:28:01 -0400

    I don't want the ERA but...

    It shocks me that we have to instill women's rights in a document. How is it possible that we still need to make special laws so that people treat women equally. But as long as it is the case that I can still be paid less than my male colleagues of less experience, I am here to stand with all of you for what is right. Live in France, Vote in Connecticut

  • tagged Sharon Stevens Smillie's Time to move forward with approved 2021-03-17 09:23:33 -0400

    Time to move forward

    Happy women = happy society and we in the United States need to move forward and acknowledge women's equality to men. We as women - mothers, daughters, sisters and wives - wear multiple hats. We are the caregiver, breadwinner, decisionmaker, and voter, yet we aren't recognized as equal in the US Constitution. Not only are we the glue that keeps the family together, but society and the world as a whole. Please vote to ratify the 28th Amendment and make Equal Rights a reality for all Oklahoman Women. Sharon Smillie, The Netherlands, former resident of Oklahoma.

  • tagged Willem Bakker's Justice delayed is justice denied with approved 2021-03-17 09:22:42 -0400

    Justice delayed is justice denied

    The story of the Equal Rights Amendment spans most of my lifetime, and its delay is a milestone in the titanic shift in American politics, away from social justice and the common good, and towards the horrifying attitudes that are sometimes called Reaganism.

    Some commentators and historians see the long-fought-for end of Reaganism in the 2020 elections and the legislation passed by Democratic lawmakers over the past year at state and national levels. It would be fitting to overcome those malignant forces that opposed the ERA at last and seal the toxic landfill of backlash by adopting the ERA now. NOW! The countless women's stories of why the ERA matters -- and the efforts of those who worked so hard but passed before we reached this goal -- speak for themselves.

    The persistence of unequal pay, discrimination in criminal justice, and misogynist culture in the United States tells us that we need more tools for pursuing justice and progress. The ERA is a simple, plain, and unqualified tool for the feminist project. We cannot let technicalities and cowardice keep us from this improvement to the U.S. Constitution.

    Country of Residence: Luxembourg 
    Voting State: Illinois

  • tagged Charla Devereux's Time for The Equal Rights Amendment to be part of the Constitution with approved 2021-03-17 09:21:15 -0400

    Time for The Equal Rights Amendment to be part of the Constitution

    The past year has certainly been an education for me as up until then I was one of the 85% of the US population who thought that the Equal Rights Amendment had been incorporated into the Constitution years ago! Hopefully this will be the year to finally make this the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. Esta Charlene Devereux residing in the UK, voting in New York

  • tagged Carla Perez's Women's rights are everyone's rights, including our children's with approved 2021-03-17 02:22:41 -0400

    Women's rights are everyone's rights, including our children's

    When women are afforded the same rights are men, they thrive, their families thrive, their children thrive. As a latina born in the US, I have been fortunate to have never felt the discrimination so many of my women friends have had to experience, whether they are white, black, asian, latinas like me or of other ethnicity. From being raped and abused, to being passed on for promotion, to earning less for equal jobs, women have suffered the consequences of been treated as unequal, as lesser than. It is high time that our Constitution make good on our forefather's intent that all people are created equal. Equal rights for women will have positive repercussions for families, our sons and daughters, as well as our careers, our communities, our country and our world. By passing the ERA you will be bringing light to darkness. You will be saying to your mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters, women colleagues, friends and employees that they matter, that they count, that you see them as equal. Thank you, Carla I currently live in Guatemala and vote in Virginia.

  • tagged Joyce Kinnear's "The Only Job for You is a Woman's Career" with approved 2021-03-16 15:27:47 -0400

    "The Only Job for You is a Woman's Career"

    Equality is Important. I remember the first full time professional job I held, which was at a city in Southern New Mexico. My husband and I had been in New Mexico for the military, but after he got out decided to leave New Mexico and go back to the left coast where our families lived. My boss, who was unhappy we were leaving, asked why we couldn't stay in New Mexico. He asked what would keep me at the City, and I told him that as a female, nonclerical employee, I had no promotion potential and little hope of getting a decent wage. After working so hard to get a Master's degree, it seemed a pity to not use that education anywhere. He said, "Maybe you can one day become a manager for Purchasing. That department is a place that can have female managers." That sort of attitude exemplified my career and doesn't even begin to go into the disgust I felt at multiple times having to put in formal requests to get pornographic photos removed from City offices. I spent many years as the only woman at the table, representing my local municipal owned utility. I got tired of the number of times more qualified women were passed over for promotions, so that some young inexperienced man could be promoted over them. One time, as a manager in California, I entered the room as the only female there--more experienced than many of the men. I was asked to get the coffee. And yet, with all of these and many more instances, I can say I was lucky. I worked hard to get a Master's Degree and pushed constantly to get to a level in the organization where my skills could be utilized. I was able to do this, because my parents are white, college educated and encouraged me to be articulate and have a backbone. This resulted in many instances of being called a "bitch" and worse for engaging in behavior that was slightly assertive and not a submissive, shrinking violet. Not all young women and girls are so fortunate. At a minimum, they should have the legal rights to be an equal citizen, with equal access to education and jobs and equivalent pay for equivalent work. I would hope my daughter and nieces have more opportunities to be who they are, without needing to be the "pushy bitches" that women my age had to be to get ahead, get fulfilling careers and take care of their families. Joyce Kinnear (living in Panama; voting in Nevada)

  • tagged Kirsten Maher's Enough is enough with approved 2021-03-16 14:05:03 -0400

    Enough is enough

    Here's a picture of my kids. They're standard teenagers. Yet one of these young people will have a much easier time throughout life simply because he was born male. Statistically, he will not have to work as hard to get better grades, he will find it easier to get a bank loan, he will be invited to more job interviews and be more succesful getting a high-paying job, then be assigned a mentor who will ensure he optimises his career. He will never have to make a decision ":kids or career", he can have it all. And all that without the ever-present fear of being attacked by a boyfriend or a stranger, of having his drink spiked, of being visciously mocked online (and brutally IRL) if he dares to insist on his space, his time, his voice. Why should he be entitled to an easier life , a better-paying career, more standing in society than his sisters? WHY?? I say enough is enough: American girls and women deserve to be treated EQUALLY, and if society can't manage to do that on its own, then we need the law to do it for us. Country of Residence: Belgium Voting state: New York 

    PS I love all my kids equally!

  • tagged It’s Been Too Long Coming, But a Change Needs to Come! with approved 2021-03-16 13:21:19 -0400

    It’s Been Too Long Coming, But a Change Needs to Come!

    I was very active during the 1960s in the Civil Rights movement, and I can say that for most of my life I have been fighting for my Civil Rights. I am a Black man who has always thought myself to be well informed and very current on Civil Rights matters. It was not until 2019 that I first began to understand what the ERA was really all about, when a Democrats Abroad colleague explain the issue in a manner that it all registered for me. I had heard of the Equal Rights Amendment, but I had never thought of it as Civil Rights Legislation, again because I really did not know what it was all about. Little did I know that women had not been granted equal protection under the law in the U.S. Constitution. My mother and grandmothers were some of the strongest women that I have ever known, and if anybody deserved equal protection under the law, they did. Most women that I have encountered in my lifetime were probably more deserving of those protections than most men that I know. Who would be against such an amendment passing? I really don’t begin to understand what the opposition would have been in the past, nor what it is today to this amendment. This is a fundamental Human Rights! I understand the procedural hurdle of 38 states not having ratified the document in ten years, but why is that timeline sacred? Just drop the ten-year requirement! This is very important, and we have to get this done. One hundred years to make this happen, come on we should be better than that! Please let’s make this a reality now! My name is Robert Scott, I vote in Texas, and I’m currently living in Germany.

  • tagged Carol Moore's The ERA Is Needed More Than Ever in 2021! with approved 2021-03-16 13:10:53 -0400

    The ERA Is Needed More Than Ever in 2021!

    In September 1966, I started college at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, only learning there was a quota in place (8 males/1 female) when I got there. Four years later there were still quotas at law schools.  I did get in (in a class of 200 men and 25 women), faced discrimination when job-hunting and found the time-honored solution of work in the federal government.  Living in New York City, Bella Abzug was my Congresswoman and the second wave of the feminist movement was in full swing.  Naively I believed the tide was turning and, in fact, I benefitted from other women’s battles:  Chase Manhattan Bank had been sued for sex discrimination in the early ‘70’s and reached a settlement, so I was welcomed with open arms when I applied in London in 1977. 

    Good assignments and promotions came in line with my male colleagues until I returned to work after my first child and a three-month maternity leave.  My boss called me into his office, said he was glad to have me back, but I was not going to get a pay review due in the next month.  He wanted to see at least six months’ performance as confirmation that I was still “committed” to my job.  I loved the job, was fortunate to have a healthy baby, a supportive husband and an excellent nanny, so I “put up and shut up.” 

    Later in my financial career there were more instances of discrimination in both pay and promotion, but the work was engaging and I conveniently bought into the story that women were moving towards pay equality and into leadership positions.  Fast forward to 2021 and the global gender data shows equality has not happened anywhere in the world. 

    Even worse, the Covid pandemic has brought into sharp relief the expectation that women will sacrifice their work and careers to pick up the unpaid burden of caring for children and older relations.  In the United States this is aggravated by the failure to provide adequate child and elder care.  Many women are paying the well-documented “motherhood penalty”, where employers tend to deny women pay increases, promotions, and  important assignments, and single them out for cutbacks and layoffs.   

    The ERA is critical as the legal basis to continue the fight for gender equality. Moving toward parity in leadership will also help end a culture of systemic misogyny, where some men (too many of those in power) continue to belittle women’s contribution to economic prosperity and well-being.   Data now shows that, as richer countries improve women’s status on the scale towards economic equality, their increased contribution significantly improves the countries’ economic growth and well-being.  I will reiterate:  there is no country yet where women have gender pay parity.  This is strong evidence that this inequality is systemic.  For American women the barriers are formidable, and the timing is critical as the pandemic ends: the ERA will give substantial legal support to the case for parity as women return to the American workforce in the next 12 – 18 months.    WE NEED THE ERA NOW!!!  

    Carol Moore, live in London, vote in Florida.