This is Women’s History Month. So yesterday I challenged you to see how much you knew about the Equal Rights Amendment. I posed twelve questions to you. How did you do? I will present the answers below, but before I do, have you wondered why we even need an Equal Rights Amendment? Shirley Chisholm shown here (another Women’s History figure to learn about) is championing the Equal Rights Amendment.
Those fighting for the ERA say that women and blacks were not included in the Constitution. Rights were for land owning white men. That is why an Amendment had to be passed giving black men the right to vote. Then the 19th Amendment had to be passed giving women the right to vote and amending the Constitution.
“The need for the ERA can be expressed simply as a warning. Unless we put into the Constitution the bedrock principle that equality of rights cannot be denied or abridged on account of sex, the political and judicial victories women have achieved with their blood, sweat, and tears for the past two centuries are vulnerable to erosion or reversal at any time – now or in the future. Congress has the power to make laws that replace existing laws – and to do so by a simple majority. Therefore, many of the current legal protections against sex discrimination can be removed by the margin of a single vote.” EqualRightsAmendment.orgThe Answers Appear Below are from Equal Rights Amendment.org too.
- What is the Equal Rights Amendment?–
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The Equal Rights Amendment would provide a fundamental legal remedy against sex discrimination for both women and men. It would guarantee that the rights affirmed by the U.S. Constitution are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex.
- Who wrote the text for it?
The Equal Rights Amendment was written in 1923 by Alice Paul, a leader of the woman suffrage movement and a lawyer.
- When was it first introduced to Congress?
It was introduced in Congress in 1923 and subsequently reintroduced in every Congressional session for half a century.
- How many years did it take to pass?
It took 49 years to pass in the Congress. On March 22, 1972, the ERA finally passed the Senate and the House of Representatives by the required two-thirds majority.
- What year was it sent to the States for ratification?
On March 22, 1972, it was sent to the states for ratification.
- How many States are needed to ratify the Amendment?
Three/fourths of the States or 35 States were necessary to ratify the Amendment.
- How many years did Congress allow for the States to ratify the Amendment?
An original seven-year deadline was later extended by Congress to June 30, 1982.
- Did enough States ratify the Amendment before the time limit expired?
- What happened then?
It is therefore not yet included in the U.S. Constitution.
- How many States actually ratified the Amendment?
When this deadline expired, only 35 of the necessary 38 states (the constitutionally required three-fourths) had ratified the ERA.
- Is it ratified now?
NO! The Equal Rights Amendment has been reintroduced in every session of Congress since 1982.
- Which States didn’t ratify the Amendment?
The 15 states whose legislatures have not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
So, what did you learn and what do you think about this?