Carrie Chapman Catt, 1911
Studio portrait of suffragist Carrie Lane Chapman Catt. View the original source document: WHI 3796

In recent years, Karen M. Kedrowski, the Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, took notice of, and concern in, a gap in the public knowledge surrounding the Equal Rights Amendment, its standing in the legislative process, and its importance in advancing women’s rights today toward an equal future.

Her concern was valid: In recent polling, 80% of those polled mistakenly believe that men and women are already guaranteed equal rights in the U.S. Constitution. As the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

Additionally, in a 2021 AP-NORC poll, nearly 75% of people polled said they supported an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees equal rights for both men and women. These numbers clearly show that the beliefs and desires of the people are not currently reflected in the U.S. Constitution without the Equal Rights Amendment being recognized.

Keeping the movement going to fully ratify, implement, and enact the Equal Rights Amendment is crucial to the growth of our future, and the future of coming generations.

Women and girls deserve the recognition and protection they deserve, and need to know that the ERA is a current issue that they can rally behind to advance their rights and give more power to their voice.

Thus, in response to her concerns, Kedrowski wrote a high school curriculum for teachers in the state of Iowa – a curriculum that is easily adaptable to any U.S. state. Starting at the root of education and teaching kids who are coming into their voting-eligible years about the ERA, its history, its importance, and the efforts it would make towards an equal future is crucial to the amendment’s success. Furthermore, it’s the right of these students to know what legislation exists that would protect them, like the ERA, to ensure they can make educated decisions at the polling box that best represents them and their desired futures. 

Kedrowski’s resource is free, and provided in the link below:
https://cattcenter.iastate.edu/for-educators


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