Let’s Finally Get Equal Rights …
The Woman’s National Democratic Club in December celebrated the potential for mandating equal rights for women only 242 years after this nation’s independence. A panel of women long involved in the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment spoke about successful paths forward for a law that would provide for the same high standard for discrimination based on sex as exists for national origin, religion, and race. Even one simple example illustrates how vital it is: the often quoted 78 cents on the dollar for women’s pay to men’s pay does not include benefits, pensions, and bonuses; and working women of color are disproportionately affected.
Longtime ERA warrior Ellie Smeal recalled how after the Equal Rights Amendment was passed women went to the headquarters of the National Women’s Party at the now-Sewall Belmont House to celebrate with suffragist and coauthor Alice Paul. Now just one more state is needed to bring the total to 38 states, and there is great optimism about Virginia becoming the 38th state. But, as legal expert Wendy Murphy explained, even if Virginia passes it, bringing the total to 38 states, well thought out legislative or judicial paths forward will be necessary to make this vital bill law.
–Veena Trahan, Chair, Global Women’s Task Force