Susan Kraft, Erin Eddy & Jean Sweeney at Washington DC Women's March 1/21/2017
Gathering with activists in Washington DC for the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 we walked to promote the importance of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.
In 1868 the Civil War Amendments to the Constitution were suppose to include women. After all the first Women’s Rights Convention had been held in Seneca Falls in 1848 and the “Declaration of Sentiments” had been presented. Instead the word “male” was placed into the Constitution for the first time by inserting it into the14th Amendment.
Women fought and white women got the vote in 1920. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made voting more inclusive. As phase two to remedy women's 1868 exclusion from equality in the Constitution Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment and it went to the legislature in 1923.
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Today ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment remains clogged in political quagmire. We need just 2 of 14 unratified States to get their State legislatures to ratify and the House and Senate to vote to drop the arbitrary 1982 deadline. Because the ERA has not been added women have yet to achieve full equal rights with men under the US Constitution. Basically we do not have a democracy for women. Women are consistently disempowered through the law by shifting the burden of proof. For discrimination for race or religion the burden of proof standard is to show discrimination. For sex discrimination the plaintiff must prove that the person intended to discriminate a much harder standard to meet.
We, women can learn a great deal from the words of Frederick Douglas-
“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”
We have been complacent in our political activism, we need to wake up, create networks that consciously support women and demand equality under the Constitution for women the Life Givers of the human race.
It is imperative that we get the ERA ratified. Send an e-mail to email@example.com if you want to become part of our Power of Ten Program and learn to be effective in working with the legislatures.