• What is the ERA?

    The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would expressly prohibit discrimination against girls and women on the basis of sex. The Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women. As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has stated: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

  • The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” By the time the deadline for state ratification ended in 1982, 35 states had ratified the amendment, just three states short of the number needed to put the ERA into the Constitution. Since then, the ERA has been reintroduced in Congress every session. Although polls indicate that more than 90% of Americans support the ERA, Congress has not once voted on it over the past thirty years.

  • Why do we need the ERA?

    The ERA is an important statement of principle. The Constitution embodies the nation's core values. Equality between women and men is a fundamental human right that should be guaranteed in the Constitution.

    Sex discrimination continues to limit equal opportunity and justice for women. Economic inequality, pregnancy discrimination, violence against women, and other forms of discrimination against women and girls are pervasive and leave women without effective legal recourse. State laws are not uniform and federal laws are not comprehensive. Moreover, these laws can be, and in some cases have been, rolled back anytime.

    The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution does not protect women from sex discrimination. The Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection of the law, but it has been interpreted to require state action and the intent to discriminate. Much discrimination occurs through private action and is not intentional, making intent hard to prove. The Supreme Court reviews sex discrimination claims using intermediate rather than strict scrutiny, a lower standard of review than for racial and religious discrimination claims.

    For more information on why we need the ERA: Why We Need the ERA 4-Pager

    Help spread the word with an ad for the ERA: ERA Coalition Color Ad

  • ERA Rally with rights under the law shall not be denied by the united states or by an state on account of sex.
  • ERA Rally with Constitutional Equality Now sign
  • ERA Rally sign ERA NOW!
  • What is the ERA Coalition?

    The movement for sex equality is strong and gaining momentum. The Equal Rights Amendment is just as relevant today as it was over 90 years ago when it was first written by Alice Paul. The ERA will provide fundamental legal protections to women and men, and will promote greater public understanding of discrimination against women and the right to sex equality.

    The ERA Coalition is working to support passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Society has changed over the past thirty years and many concerns that hindered ratification are now obsolete, while the need for an effective and permanent sex equality guarantee remains. We will bring the experience and wisdom of veteran activists together with the energy and social media skills of a new generation to build a successful coalition effort for passage and ratification of the ERA.

    The ERA Coalition supports all legislative strategies that aim to increase constitutional protections against discrimination. In the 115th Congress, Congresswoman Maloney has introduced language that combines the 1972 language with wording similar to Alice Paul’s first draft, adding the word “women” to the Constitution. Senator Menendez has introduced legislation that is identical to the 1972 language. Another strategy calls for the removal of the 1982 deadline for ratification. In the 115th Congress, companion bills for the "3-State Strategy" have been introduced in the House and the Senate by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA) and Senator Ben Cardin (MD).

    More recently, we have been exploring the idea of expanding the scope of protections covered under the ERA to include race, sex and other like forms of discrimination. To see the latest draft of this text (not yet introduced) please click on this link.

  • History of the ERA

    Alice Paul first presented the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, at the 75th Anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. Paul, a leader of the suffrage movement, believed writing women’s equality into the Constitution with the ERA was the next logical step after securing women the right to vote with the 19th Amendment.

    The ERA was introduced in every Congressional session between 1923 and 1972. In 1972, the ERA was passed in the House and the Senate by the required 2/3 majority and sent to the states for ratification. The original seven-year deadline for ratification was extended by three years, but when the June 30, 1982 deadline passed, the ERA fell three states short of ratification.