Women's Caucus News

Recap: June 13 Reproductive Rights Webinar with Jennifer Merchant, Ph.D

Recap by Connie Borde

Jennifer Merchant, Ph.D*. in Political Sciences from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, and Professor of Anglo-American legal and political institutions at the Université de Paris II (Panthéon-Assas), spoke for the Global Women’s Caucus in Paris on June 13 on the subject of the Criminalization of Women’s Bodies, following the recent abortion bans or restrictios in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio.

The evening was streamed live on Zoom, and over 100 persons listened and watched in real time.

No one in the audience was disappointed with Dr. Merchant’s complete and informative story of historical landmarks that got us to where we are today. Most striking was her analysis of trends in abortions (in 2014, the U.S. abortion rate reached a historic low) and the segment of the population most affected by the restrictions. Because of lack of access to health insurance and health care, abortion is increasingly concentrated among poor women, and abortion rates continue to vary by race and ethnicity.

For Dr. Merchant, the bottom line and philosophical underpinnings of this movement falls under the greatly discussed history of patriarchy and equal rights for women.

The question about reversing Roe v Wade was naturally a key point. If Roe fell, abortion rights would be lost in some states and remain secure in others.

If Roe v Wade is overturned:
  • 22 states could ban abortion outright.
  • In 8 states (including the District of Columbia), the right to abortion is at risk of loss.
  • In 21 states, the right to abortion appears to be more or less secure.

To watch the recording of Jennifer Merchant’s talk and hear her opinions about where we go from here, you can click here

*Jennifer Merchant sits on the Ethics Committee of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB) Association as well as FAB Country Representative. She is a leading researcher in bioethical issues of comparative public policy with expertise in North American and European policy, and politics and regulation of medical technologies involving human reproduction. She started off her research on comparative abortion politics, and then became an expert in comparative law and politics on embryo research and assisted reproductive technology. 

Global Women's Caucus June Newsletter

Happy Pride Month GWC members! June has ushered in summer and, with it, our annual month to celebrate LGBTQ communities across the U.S. and the world. As we stock up on bright and colorful Pride merch, we also reflect on an eventful month of May. Read on for more on what the GWC has been up to, developments with abortion access in the U.S. and new ways to get involved.


DA Happenings: GWC goes to Washington!

Democrats Abroad held its 2019 Annual General Meeting in Washington D.C. from May 17-21. DA leaders from every continent joined together for a fast-paced, densely packed series of meetings, discussions, presentations, and events topped off by two days of meetings with our representatives on Capitol Hill.

Our own GWC members were also extremely productive and exhausted but thoroughly satisfied by the end of the week! GWC Chair Ann Hesse highlighted achievements from the past year and outlined our strategy to get more women elected in 2020. ERA team leader Shari Temple presented on plans to make 2020 the year we finally pass the ERA, and GWC leaders were on hand for informal one-on-one chats with newly minted leaders. Forty GWC leaders from around the world also convened at a planning session at the elegant Cosmos Club in D.C., where we laid out priorities for the coming year and formed two new important task forces: a Candidate Research Team and a Reproductive Rights Team.

Just when we thought we were finished for the week, we were called into action again on our last day in D.C.! Our caucus joined with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Emily’s List and other groups on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building for an impromptu protest action against the harsh new abortion laws passed in several states. Prominent women’s rights activists were joined by members of Congress and Democratic presidential candidates, calling for an end to the abortion bans. Media outlets from around the world captured the scene and were even able to interview a few of our GWC leaders.

A few observations from participants:

“It was energizing to be in a room with so many smart women who are passionate about protecting women’s rights and advancing the cause of equality. This is a critical time in our country, and I came away with a shot of hope that Democrats, and particularly women Democrats, will never give up the fight.” - Joan Stack, DA Panama

"As always, the global meeting was fun, thought-provoking, frustrating at times, tiring, but valuable. It is always good to see people in person – particularly ones that you work with but have never met. And I was particularly pleased that by the end of the meeting, everyone was wearing an “ERA Yes” button." - Shari Temple, Global IT Team Chair; GWC Steering Team; ERA Project Coordinator

“What thrills me most is the synergy between our long-time leaders, many of whom are women’s rights activism veterans since the 70s, and young, talented new members just bubbling with energy and ‘can do’ optimism. Observing a few of these conversations; women exchanging ideas and email addresses over lunch-boxes and coffee breaks, warmed my heart and makes me feel excited about the future” - Ann Hesse, chair, DA Global Women’s Caucus

"It was outstanding to meet so many committed Democrats Abroad activists working to promote key policy issues and plan to elect Democrats across the country! And many thanks to Julia Bryan and her outstanding team for organizing the three days, the live/video talks from Presidential candidates, impressive committee/caucus presentations and fascinating briefings from DNC executives. With all this GREAT PLANNING, DEMS WILL WIN IN 2020!!!" - Carol Moore

“I love women movers and shakers. I love Democrat women, and I especially love our DA Global Women’s Caucus. Our DA Global meeting was made all the more special by our intense discussions at our Sunday evening workshop at the Cosmos Club in DC. Join us and dig into the issues and see what we can do to CHANGE the picture of women's’ rights in the USA.” - Salli Swartz

In the US: Assault on Abortion

On Thursday, June 13th, from 6:45 pm to 8:45 pm CEST, the Global Women's Caucus will host an essential webinar with Dr. Jennifer Merchant. She will discuss the long-feared upcoming challenge to Roe v. Wade limiting choice for women and a likely constitutional crisis concerning women’s rights. Don't miss this important webinar, RSVP today.

The assault on reproductive rights in the U.S. continues, as more states pass laws restricting abortion access with the explicit goal of challenging Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

In May, Alabama passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It outlaws almost all abortions and does not include exemptions for rape or incest. Further, the law states that doctors who perform abortions could be charged with a felony and face up to 99 years in prison.

Several other states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia passed “heartbeat bills,” banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and before many women realize they are pregnant.

These laws are antiquated and dangerous, and if enacted, will endanger women’s health while laying waste to reproductive rights. And yet, there is a reason to be hopeful. States, including Nevada and Illinois, have recently passed legislation to protect access to abortion.

Want to help? Check out this summary of ways to volunteer, organize, and donate to local organizations working to protect women’s access to abortion.

ERA Update: Urge Congress to Remove Deadline

As we celebrate the accomplishment that was the passage of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago, we look forward to the passage of the ERA. However, women will NOT have equal rights in the U.S. Constitution this year as the deadlines for the legislatures in all 13 unratified states has passed.

What can still happen in 2019 is for Congress to explicitly remove the deadline that was in the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment preamble – clearly the path for the ratification without that legal issue. You can help – see https://www.democratsabroad.org/era_campaigns.

We are also looking at other ways that DA can help influence and educate the public on the need for women in the USA to have equal rights. If you have ideas or would like to help, please contact us at era@democratsabroad.org.

Watch Desi Lydic womansplain the Equal Rights Amendment on the Daily Show.

Get Involved: We Want to Hear Your Story!

As we march toward the 2020 election, we at the Global Women’s Caucus want to hear from you!

Though we are proud of how far women have come in the U.S., there are still many miles to go. To shed light on the progress still needed, we are launching the “State of the American Woman” campaign. As part of this initiative, we hope to highlight stories of American women facing inequality in their daily lives.

If you are interested in learning more or participating, please contact gwc_comms@democratsabroad.org.

Get Involved: Survey and Volunteer Opportunity!

Please take our issues survey. It's important for us to know what is important to you in 2020 elections.

Are you interested in delving into the presidential candidates’ stance on women's issues? We're putting together a candidate research team, and if you’re interested in getting involved, we would love to hear from you at womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org.


Thank you for reading, and as always, stay tuned on our Facebook page for all the latest news.

In solidarity,
Your GWC Team

Global Women's Caucus May Newsletter

It’s been a busy month in the fight for women’s equality. Back home in the U.S., the House held its first hearing on the ERA in 36 years, and Democratic legislators introduced the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act to combat workplace harassment. Here at the DA Global Women’s Caucus, we are working to drive that momentum forward.

Democrats Abroad will hold its 2019 Global Meeting from May 17-19 in Washington, D.C. Members from around the world converge and work to prepare for the 2020 primary and general elections. Over three days, we will attend to the regular business of the organization, discuss charter amendments and resolutions, run training sessions and hold our executive committee elections. There will also be regional meetings to elect Regional Vice Chairs and conduct other business. Find out how you can get involved, including the opportunity to virtually participate in the Democrats Abroad 2019 Global Meeting, set for May 17-19 in Washington, D.C.


DA Happenings: DAUK Hosts “RBG” Film Night

On April 12, our friends in the UK Women’s Caucus teamed up with the DAUK Film Committee to hold a screening of “RBG,” the award-winning documentary about cultural icon and civil rights champion, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Building on the momentum of Women’s History Month in March, the event included an after-screening discussion, featuring a panel of three DAUK women members who trained as lawyers, on topics such as opportunities for women in the legal profession, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and RBG’s legacy.

Is your chapter hosting an event you’d like to see featured here? Let us know! Reach out at womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org.

In the US: Congress Introduces the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act

In early April, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced a bill to increase protections and transparency related to sexual harassment in the workplace: H.R.2148, the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act.

Vanita Gupta, president, and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement, “People are fed up with harassment and discrimination being business as usual at work. It is time for laws and policies that prevent and remedy these all too common violations of working people’s civil rights. The Be HEARD Act will do just that.”

Among other things, the legislation would fill in gaps in current federal discrimination laws. For example, it would extend protections to groups excluded from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including workers at small businesses, independent contractors, interns, LGBTQ workers, and volunteers. Furthermore, the bill seeks to address problems in the judicial system related to processing workplace harassment claims. Click here for more on how the bill will fight workplace discrimination.

ERA Update: House Holds First ERA Hearing in 36 Years

On April 30, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee held the first ERA hearing in nearly four decades. Actress Patricia Arquette spoke and said, per Emily Peck of HuffPost, “There’s a groundswell in this country. Women are rising by the millions and saying we will not be sexually assaulted, we will not get paid less, we will not be treated as subhuman and we will have their voices heard.”

Did you know:

  • Women do NOT have equal rights in the U.S. Constitution
  • The word ‘women’ is mentioned only one time in the Constitution (19th Amendment), the word ‘men’ is mentioned 39 times
  • 85% of all countries have equal rights in their constitution, including every industrial nation except the U.S.
  • Over 90% of Americans think the U.S. should have equal rights in our Constitution
  • YOU can make a difference

Of the 13 states that have not ratified the ERA, 10 submitted bills in their state legislature this year. (The three that did not were AL, OK, and UT.) The bills have already failed for the 2019 sessions in AR, AZ, FL, GA, MS, SC and VA, but there’s still some hope for the other three – LA, MO, and NC. If you vote in one of these states, please contact your state legislature members to support the ERA.

Regardless of voting state, everyone can help by contacting their U.S. Senators and Representatives to express support for equal rights for women and encourage them to vote for the ERA bills currently in Congress. Find all the details on how you can help by going to www.democratsabroad.org/era.

We are looking for volunteers to join our Global Women’s Caucus Comms team. If you are passionate about women’s rights and have 10 hours a month to volunteer to our caucus, we need you! We are looking for volunteers with the following areas of expertise:

Social Media
  • Create original content for our website and social media
  • Monitor social media channels
  • Assist in the preparation of online campaigns
  • Other activities as required


  • Write about women’s issues that are important to the GWC
  • Conduct interviews
  • Draft resolutions in support of women’s issues
  • Create original content for our website and social media
  • Proofread content
  • Research women’s topics
  • Other activities as required

Design & Graphics

  • Design layouts for web pages and social media channels
  • Design promotional material including posters, flyers, etc.
  • Help create and maintain a unique brand identity for our caucus


  • Organize online events including WebEx calls
  • Develop “Event in a Box” toolkit
  • Liaise with external groups to collaborate on events
  • Plan offline events including marches

If interested, please connect with us via email at gwc_comms@democratsabroad.org.

Reminder: Join BOOKS ABROAD for “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin

We invite you to join the Books Abroad international feminist reading group on Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 a.m. EDT for a discussion about a historical piece of feminism, Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.” First published in 1899, this novel presents the intellectual and sexual awakening of Edna Pontellier, an affluent, married white woman with two children.

Please click here to read more about the book and RSVP to receive the link for the meeting.


Our Global Women's Caucus Chair, Ann Hesse, is profiled this month. She talks about her life and her activism. Read her story.

Thanks for reading,

Global Women's Caucus

Global Women's Caucus April Newsletter

As spring approaches, we look back on an inspirational International Women’s Day and a wonderful event with Christine Pelosi. We also look ahead to important fights in the U.S., including our continued mission to support the ratification of the ERA.


DA Celebrates International Women’s Day Around the World

March 8, 2019: The DAUK Women’s Caucus spent International Women’s Day with Stacey Abrams! The inspiring politician told members we can’t count on anyone to open doors for us — so we must work together to create our own doors and, when that’s not possible, knock down walls entirely.

DAUK Women’s Caucus members feelin’ the love with Stacey Abrams on IWD! L to R: Meghan Feeks, Courtney Plummer, Stacey Abrams, Jihann Pedersen, Lan Wu.

IWD festivities were in full force in Oslo, Norway and included a screening of the documentary “RBG,” a speech by Hillary Clinton and a march of thousands starting in Youngstorget. Check out the full recap of events in Oslo!

GWC steering committee member Christina Skovsgaard is one of the thousands at the IWD march in Oslo, this year focusing on abortion rights and equal pay.

Caucus members in Canada celebrated IWD and Women's History Month at Second City Toronto for the hilarious, subversive, political show: “She the People: Girlfriends’ Guide to Sisters Doing It For Themselves.”

Toronto & Canada WC Chairs Karin Lippert and Brooke Scott join as members laugh and cheer for the cast, the show and each other.

The GWC hosted a webinar with Christine Pelosi on March 10. 

She is a very motivating speaker. During her talk she discussed her Congressional Candidates Bootcamp, staying engaged from abroad, HR1, the comprehensive reform package designed to strengthen the rights of voters at home and abroad and much more. Watch this information-packed webinar, you will not be disappointed.

No ERA Vote in Virginia: Update and How You Can Help!

The Equal Rights Amendment is back in the news. Here’s a quick update on what’s happened.

The ERA was first introduced in 1923. Unfortunately, although it finally passed in the U.S. House and Senate 47 years ago (March 22, 1972), it has still not been ratified by the needed 38 states. It had only 35 when it “expired” in 1982. However, based on the 27th Amendment being ratified 203 years after it was submitted to the states, it has been deemed that the deadline was not valid. Nevada ratified it in 2017 and Illinois in 2018 – needing ONE more state to ratify it.

This year, bills have been introduced in 10 of the 13 unratified states. Sadly, it has already failed to get out of committee for 2019 in Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia. Bills are still in play in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The three states that did not even introduce a bill are Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah.

In addition, more states are seeking to add equal rights to their state constitutions. Currently, 26 states have already included it.

Here’s a three-minute video on Why We Need an Equal Rights Amendment. You can also watch the “Legalize Equality” video, the 30-minute must-see video on ERA – just RSVP here for the free link.

Also please check out www.democratsabroad.org/era for the latest status along with ways ALL members of DA can help no matter where you vote or live. We need your help.

What You Can Do: Help Call DA Virginia Voters!

Just a few weeks ago, Republicans stopped the ERA in the Virginia Legislature by a single vote! We were devastated, but not defeated!

DA has just set up new global phone banking campaigns to reach out to DA voters in Virginia where the 2019 state elections will decide the majority in both the House of Delegates and the VA State Senate.

Let’s take a majority in the VA legislature and ratify the ERA!

Sign up here to be on the phone banking team and join the Campaign for Virginia.

COMING UP! Eyes Wide Open: Books Abroad Reads “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin

In June, Books Abroad will step back into a historical piece of feminism, Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.” First published in 1899, this novel presents the intellectual and sexual awakening of Edna Pontellier, an affluent, married white woman with two children. After years of succumbing to the limited social expectations for women, Edna expresses a profound dissatisfaction with her life and begins to defy those boundaries.

We invite you to join the Books Abroad international feminist reading group on Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 a.m. EDT for a WebEx discussion about this landmark piece of literary fiction. Please click here for more information on the book and to RSVP!


It has been so inspiring to join in fellowship with women all over the world to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Although we have faced a setback with the ERA in Virginia, there is much to be hopeful about! We have incredible female candidates for President, we have elected a record number of women to Congress and we have more women of color serving in office than ever before.
And we are more motivated than ever to push forward, fighting until equality is a reality for everyone. Stay tuned on our Facebook page for all the latest news.

In solidarity,

Your Global Women's Caucus Team

“’RBG: A Progressive Icon in these Troubled Times” Film Screening


On April 12, 2019, the DAUK Film Committee and the DAUK Women’s Caucus screened the documentary "RBG: A Progressive Icon in these Troubled Times” in London. “Super Diva” is on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s sweatshirt at her weekly routine in this lively biography. And “Super Diva’ she is to the young students attending her recent public appearances. The term is well-earned as we hear family, friends and colleagues talk of RBG’s impressive legal acumen, tireless work ethic, quiet determination, and successful strategies to advance gender equality in the United States.

We see her 1992 Senate nomination hearing outlining some of the many cases pursued while a law professor and general counsel of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, winning five of the six gender discrimination case before the Supreme Court. It is shocking to remember that, in 1959, despite graduating first in her law school class, she was turned down NY law firms and denied a Supreme Court clerkship because she was a woman.

There are amusing vignettes from her private life: opera, travel and a supportive husband who famously promoted her Supreme Court nomination. But what shines through is her dedication to the law and her mode of overcoming sexism: “Be a lady and be independent.” And the Justice continues as a “rock star” with her independent thinking in eloquent dissents in today’s Supreme Court.

It was an excellent film and we would highly recommend it. RBG is now available on iTunes!

Watch the trailer

Global Women’s Caucus Communications Team - Call for Volunteers

We are looking for volunteers to join our Global Women’s Caucus Comms team.
If you are passionate about women’s rights and have 10 hours a month to volunteer to our caucus, we need you!
We are looking for volunteers with the following areas of expertise:

  • Social Media

    • Creating original content for our website and social media

    • Monitoring social media channels

    • Assisting in the preparation of online campaigns

    • Other activities as required

  • Writing

    • Write about women’s issues that are important to the GWC

    • Conduct interviews

    • Draft resolutions in support of women’s issues

    • Creating original content for our website and social media

    • Proofread content

    • Research women’s topics

    • Other activities as required

  • Design & Graphics

    • Design layouts for web pages and social media channels

    • Design promotional material including posters, flyers, etc.

    • Help create and maintain a unique brand identity for our caucus

  • Events

    • Organise online events including WebEx calls

    • Develop ‘’Event in a Box’’ toolkit

    • Liaise with external groups to collaborate on events

    • Plan offline events including marches

Please connect us via email: gwc_comms@democratsabroad.org


International Women’s Day in Norway

Highlights of the March 8 events in Oslo

There is an irony in the fact that Norway, which is ranked as the second most female friendly nation (2018 ranking*1), is so dedicated to the International Women’s Day. Have they not already achieved equality? The strong engagement is a good barometer for Norway’s general commitment to support women’s rights. The laws here do support women both in the workplace and home. Norway, traditionally a farming nation, recognized the contributions of farmer wives, decades ago, by giving them the status of a regular workers, entitled them to increased social security and workman’s benefits. Now girls are taken over farms since the law on inheritance has changed, favoring the first-born child, replacing the first born “male” as the heir. The law now also states that all corporate boards must be minimum 40% female; however, women tend not to rise as rapidly as men on the corporate ladder. A major newspaper recently reported that more men are going into female dominated vocations, such as nursing and teaching, and a larger percentage of women now seek higher education than men. 

Read more

Australian Study Reveals The Dangers of 'Toxic Masculinity' to Men and Those Around Them

File 20181015 109239 1n1mcod.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Young men who subscribe to traditional ideals of manhood are more likely to sexually harass women and bully others. Shutterstock

Michael Flood, Queensland University of Technology

Young men who conform to traditional definitions of manhood are more likely to suffer harm to themselves, and do harm to others, according to a new survey of Australian men aged 18 to 30.

This is the first major Australian survey to map ideals of masculinity among young men, commissioned as part of the Jesuit Social Services’ Men’s Project, which is dedicated to helping boys and men live respectful, accountable and fulfilling lives.

The researchers surveyed 1,000 young men on their attitudes toward seven pillars of traditional manhood: self-sufficiency, toughness, physical attractiveness, rigid gender roles, heterosexuality and homophobia, hypersexuality, and aggression and control over women. These represent what we call the “Man Box”, or the ideals of manhood that can be both influential and restrictive to young men.

The men were asked about their perceptions of societal messages about manhood and their own endorsement of these messages.

Our findings showed that many young men remain greatly influenced by these societal messages of what it means to be a man. For example, young men were particularly likely to agree with statements that society expects men to act strong (69%), fight back when pushed (60%) and never say no to sex (56%).

However, some traditional ideals seem to be dropping away. Few young men agreed that society tells them they should use violence to get respect (35%), straight men should shun gay men as friends (36%), boys shouldn’t learn how to cook and clean (38%), and men shouldn’t do household chores (39%).

Read more: Masculinity should not be defined by the Kavanaugh hearings

Read more

DA Global Women’s Caucus celebrates International Women’s Day

Today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us remember the great women in history whose shoulders we stand on. Let us celebrate their achievements and acknowledge the sacrifices they made to get us where we are today.

This has indeed been a historic year for women. We have elected a record number of women to Congress and we have more women of color serving in office than ever before! But this can only be a beginning. Massive inequalities still remain. Women in the United States of America do not even have basic equality with men written into our constitution.

So let us honor the great women who came before us by pushing forward on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. And let us vow to never give up until our daughters have exactly the same rights, opportunities, and status as our sons! 



WASHINGTON, January 24, 2019 Democrats Abroad, the largest organization for Americans living overseas, fully supports the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and is calling on state legislatures across the U.S. to move toward its ratification. The action comes just days after a subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates rejected the ERA proposal, and after the weekend of the Women’s March, which saw advocates across the country and around the world rally in support of the ERA and gender equality.

“Over eighty-five percent (85%) of the world’s nations protect women’s rights as part of their constitution. The United States is not one of them,” noted Democrats Abroad’s ERA Project Coordinator Shari Temple. “As Americans abroad, many of us live in countries where we have more rights than women do in the United States. Ratifying the ERA is a not a partisan issue but rather a human rights issue: equality of rights under U.S law must not be denied or abridged on account of sex.”

In 2018, Democrats Abroad unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the Democratic Party to support the ratification of the ERA. This has galvanized Americans abroad in support of the organization’s work toward gender equality.

Members are reaching out to legislatures in the thirteen states that have yet to ratify the ERA, while advocating on social media and organizing live events worldwide. This past weekend, Democrats Abroad joined Women’s Marches and hosted events supporting the ERA in countries including Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Handwritten petitions are also being circulated among Americans in at least seven countries.

Like all constitutional amendments, the ERA must be adopted by three-fourths of states in order to be ratified, a step that advocates have been fighting for since Congress proposed the ERA 47 years ago. This week, a GOP-led subcommittee in the Virginia House rejected the proposal that could have led to Virginia becoming that 38th state. While advocates hope it may be picked up in the full committee, this would most likely require significant public pressure.

“Opponents of the ERA make threats of what could happen when women and men attain equality under U.S. law. With our experience of living, working and raising families in countries where equality for women is a given, we know this is pure nonsense,” explained Anne Hesse, Chair of the Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus. “Enshrining gender equality in the Constitution would benefit not only American women but society as a whole. We call upon state legislatures across the U.S. to affirm our equal rights and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.”