By Ava Lee-Green
It’s hard to believe that 2022 is already over and it’s already February 2023. With the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the overturning of Roe v. Wade, 2022 definitely had its ups and downs. We must now look to the future and continue the fight for equality in the US. Here are six ways you can do your part:
- Contact your elected representatives. This is one of the most important things you can do to fight for gender equality because legal change promotes social change. As an active community member, you are encouraged to reach out to your elected officials to let them urge them to support legislation that fights against discrimination. You can find the email addresses of your elected officials at house.gov and should encourage your friends and family to also contact their representatives. By putting pressure on these officials, we can get politicians to make change happen. Or check out the ERA Coalition action center, where we make it easy for you to contact your elected officials about supporting the Equal Rights Amendment!
- Support organizations that are fighting for equality. There are many organizations nationwide that work within communities to promote equality as well as advocate for necessary legal change on the federal level. Some organizations, such as Black Girls Vote and TransLatin@ Coalition, aim to uplift people who identify with multiple marginalized communities. You can not only donate money but your time through volunteering to help bolster your local organization’s work to fight for equality within your community. Check out the full list of ERA Coalition partners and find a group that speaks to you!
- Participate in marches and demonstrations. Around the country, hundreds of thousands of people participate in demonstrations to fight for equal rights. Protesting is one of the best ways for ordinary citizens’ voices to be heard, especially about topics that affect every person in the U.S., like gender equality. Recently, the Women’s March organization led over 200 marches nationwide using the hashtag #BiggerThanRoe to recognize the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade and declare to the country that the movement is more than Roe – it is for equality on a much larger scale. Demonstrations like these happen year-round and can be found on websites like the Women’s March, as well as via social media.
- Promote representation in media. TV, movies, and social media have the power to shape ideas, especially how we see ourselves and others. Being able to identify with a character on their favorite TV show can help people realize that they’re not alone. Seeing someone who looks like you, has overcome the same challenges as you, or has a similar background can have a powerful impact on how you perceive yourself. This is important at all ages too – even young kids should feel like their lives are represented in the TV and movies they watch. You can promote representation by supporting new media that strays from the traditional Hollywood mold to include more diversity in their cast and crew.
- Uplift the voices of marginalized communities. Instead of talking over people who are trying to get their voices heard, give them a platform to speak. On social media, you can repost or tag creators whose messages are incredibly important, but whose accounts are not getting enough attention. In places like schools or workplaces, invite someone to speak on their experiences with equal rights and the steps they are taking to help in the fight for equality. Listen to them and learn the best ways you can support their community and fight for equality without overshadowing their voices.
- Continue to educate yourself. Chances are, if you are reading this, gender equality is something you are interested in and hope to fight for in the coming years. By learning more about other communities and perspectives, we can create a more understanding and equal world. Equality is constantly evolving, so it is important that you stay up-to-date and informed about your rights and how you can support other communities. You can start by signing up for the ERA Coalition newsletter, where we promote not only sex equality, but intersectional issues that affect us all; like voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, education, workers' rights, and more!
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