ERA for Gender Equality
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)!
ERA has been introduced in congress more times than any other proposed amendment. If passed the ERA would have provided for legal gender equality if it had been ratified by the states.
The ERA passed Congress in 1972 by the required two-thirds vote. But amendments must also be ratified by three-quarters of the states. The ERA was quickly ratified by 35 of the 38 states needed.
As the seven-year time limit for ratification approached in 1979, Congress and President Jimmy Carter controversially extended the deadline three years. However, no additional states ratified. The ERA had been presented to Congress every year from 1923-1972, but never passed.
Fortunately, ERA inspired laws have passed to provide women with more rights and equality, but there is still some work to be done.
Learn more about the “Amending America” exhibit.