The Equal Rights Amendment
November 27, 2018
From the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, to the decade-long battle over ratification in the 1970s, to renewed interest in the amendment today, the long fight to enshrine gender equality in the Constitution has taken on new significance.
After Congress proposed the ERA in 1972 with strong bipartisan support, the measure went to the states for ratification. Strong early momentum was followed by a wave of resistance and the amendment stalled, just three states short of the 38 needed to prevail. Complicating matters, legislatures in five states voted to rescind their support. In the years since, the fight for gender equality has made significant headway – in the courts, in the legislatures, and in the world of organizing and action. And yet, a resurgence in activism – from the Women’s Marches, to the rise of the #MeToo movement, to record numbers of women running for office – serves as a powerful reminder of pervasive disparities and unequal representation that exist today.
In a discussion organized by the Brennan Center for Justice, experts and activists will examine the renewed push for ratification of the ERA, which raises new questions of strategy and substance. What lessons can we learn from the initial campaign? What is the state of gender equality under the law today? What is the experience other countries, and of those states, that have adopted similar protections? How could a renewed push to ratify the ERA – at a time of surging women’s activism and civic engagement – advance the cause of equality today?
Representative Steve Andersson, State Representative for Illinois’s 65th Legislative District
Fatima Goss-Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
Carol Jenkins, Board Member, The Women’s Media Center
Melissa Murray, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
Jessica Neuwirth, Co-Founder and Co-President, ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality
Carol Robles-Román, Co-President and CEO, ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality
Reva Siegel, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Julie Suk, Dean for Master’s Programs and Professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
Jamia Wilson, Executive Director and Publisher, Feminist Press, City University of New York
Additional speakers to be announced.
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