Ignoring Precedent: Stop Making Women’s Equality a Political Question Mark

By Don. W. Wilson and Lisa Sales

January 27, 2022 (Lisa Sales pictured center.)

On January 27, 2022, standing before the White House in below freezing temperatures just as the suffragists had done in 1917, Americans marked the two-year anniversary of ratification of the ERA, which 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.” Section 3 also states that it takes effect two years after ratification of the final state’s vote, making it enforceable 11 months ago. Article V of the Constitution prescribes the amending procedure, a two-step process, but stays silent on time limits. An amendment “shall be valid to all intents and purposes” when two-thirds of both houses of Congress pass it, followed by three-fourths (38 out of 50) of the state legislatures. Done and done!

On March 22, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Congress. As the seasons have since come and gone and Equal Pay Day and Women’s History Month came to a close, we moved through April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, July’s Anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, August’s Women’s Equality Day, October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month and, just last week, United Nations Human Rights Day. It bears mentioning that every time we move closer to achieving full constitutional gender equality – which all other industrialized nations in the world recognize in their own constitutions –  the American government moves the goal posts and contradicts itself…

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Women’s eNews is a partner of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality.


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