Desdemona Ta

Written by Desdemona Ta

Published: 10 Jul 2024


The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has been a hot topic for decades, aiming to ensure equal rights for all citizens, regardless of gender. But what exactly is the ERA, and why is it still relevant in 2024? Simply put, the ERA seeks to guarantee that rights under the law are not denied or abridged based on sex. This amendment has seen a rollercoaster of support and opposition since its initial proposal in 1923. Despite being passed by Congress in 1972, it fell short of ratification by the required number of states. Fast forward to today, the ERA remains a symbol of the ongoing fight for gender equality. Let's dive into 18 key facts about the ERA in 2024, shedding light on its history, current status, and future implications.

Table of Contents

What is the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)?

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) aims to ensure equal rights for all American citizens, regardless of sex. Originally proposed in 1923, it has seen a long journey through the legislative process.

  1. The ERA was first introduced to Congress in 1923 by suffragist Alice Paul.
  2. It passed both houses of Congress in 1972 but required ratification by 38 states to become part of the Constitution.
  3. By the 1982 deadline, only 35 states had ratified the amendment, falling short by three states.

Why is the ERA Important?

The ERA seeks to eliminate legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.

  1. It aims to provide a clear judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination.
  2. The amendment would make gender equality a fundamental right, ensuring consistent legal protection.
  3. It would help address wage disparities between men and women.

Recent Developments in the ERA

In recent years, there has been renewed interest and momentum to ratify the ERA.

  1. Nevada ratified the ERA in 2017, becoming the 36th state to do so.
  2. Illinois followed suit in 2018, making it the 37th state.
  3. Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA in January 2020.

Legal Challenges and Controversies

Despite reaching the required number of state ratifications, the ERA faces several legal hurdles.

  1. The original deadline for ratification expired in 1982, leading to debates about the validity of recent ratifications.
  2. Some argue that states that previously rescinded their ratifications should not be counted.
  3. The U.S. Department of Justice issued an opinion in 2020 stating that the ERA could not be ratified after the deadline.

Public Support and Opposition

Public opinion on the ERA has varied over the years, with both strong support and opposition.

  1. A 2020 poll showed that 78% of Americans support the ERA.
  2. Opponents argue that the ERA could lead to unintended consequences, such as affecting laws related to abortion and single-sex spaces.
  3. Supporters believe it is essential for achieving true gender equality.

The Future of the ERA

The future of the ERA remains uncertain but continues to be a topic of significant discussion and advocacy.

  1. Some lawmakers have proposed removing the deadline for ratification to allow the ERA to be added to the Constitution.
  2. Legal battles over the amendment's validity are likely to continue in the courts.
  3. The ERA has inspired new generations of activists to fight for gender equality.

The journey of the ERA is far from over, and its impact on American society continues to be a subject of passionate debate.

Final Thoughts on the Equal Rights Amendment 2024

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has been a long journey, but its relevance remains strong. With the push for ratification in 2024, understanding its history and impact is crucial. The ERA aims to ensure gender equality under the law, a goal that resonates with many today. Despite setbacks, the fight for equal rights continues to inspire and mobilize people across the nation.

As we look ahead, the ERA's potential ratification could mark a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for equality. Staying informed and engaged is key to supporting this important cause. Whether you're a student, activist, or simply curious, knowing the facts about the ERA empowers you to contribute to the conversation. Let's keep pushing for a future where equality isn't just an ideal but a reality for everyone.

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