Equal Rights Amendment: Next steps
We enjoyed a great evening learning about the Equal Rights Amendment at this month’s Third Thursday! Thanks to MSP NOW for hosting and to the great panel of speakers from ERA MN and NOW.
The Equal Rights Amendment would guarantee that the rights affirmed by the U.S. Constitution are held equally by all citizens, regardless of sex. That is, under law, women cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their sex. The Equal Rights Amendment was originally proposed by a Republican and shared wide bipartisan support into the 80s. It remains a nonpartisan issue.
This means equal pay for equal work, no discriminating against women in healthcare provisions such as birth control, adequate protection against violence against women―rape, stalking, domestic violence― and the end of more minor discriminations like widow benefits, among others.
Rosemary Rocco, VP ERA MN, called for men to stand shoulder to shoulder with women in the fight for the ERA. This is not just a women’s issue. It affects men too.
The ERA is beneficial to our country is many ways. Exemplifying this is the fact that, if women of color were paid equally to white men for doing the same work, $200 billion would be added to the economy.
ERA is about equality. Reproductive Rights are about sovereignty. It's important to remember that these are two separate things.
Two things need to happen in 2018:
- At the federal level, get the artificial deadline/Sunset clause imposed on the ERA.
- In Minnesota, get a vote on the ERA at the state legislature in 2018, but first we have to get a hearing for the amendment.
Our allies in this at the State Capitol―Sen. Dick Cohen and ex. Rep Phyllis Kahn introduced the ERA legislation every year for many years. Sen. Sandra Pappas and Rep. Rena Moran continue to champion the ERA. As do Sen Patricia Torres Ray, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Peggy Flanagan and Sen. Scott Dibble.
Take action now:
- The following representatives need to be contacted and convinced that this legislation needs to be passed, particularly if you live in their district:
- Save the date: March 8 is International Women’s Day
A huge turnout is needed at the State Capitol to make it clear that the ERA must get a hearing and needs to pass at the state level in 2018. Join us! The rotunda is booked. Let’s fill those halls with our voices shouting for equality under the law. Now is the time.
- Watch the documentary “Equal Means Equal.” Find local screening or view it on Amazon.
- Learn more about the Equal Rights Amendment
- Read this article on how Violence Against Women is another case for the ERA
- Read this article on why we need the ERA now more than ever