Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today joined U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and 20 other Senate colleagues to reintroduce the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would amend the U.S. Constitution to guarantee women equal rights under the law. Currently, the U.S. Constitution does not contain explicit protections for women. This introduction comes as Women’s History Month, which commemorates and honors the role of women in society, comes to a close.
The ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex – the ERA establishes within the United States Constitution the unambiguous and unassailable rights of women under the law.”
“Although women make up half of our country’s population, there is still no explicit protection of our rights under the Constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment would make it clear that nobody can be discriminated against just because they are a woman,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s absurd that after eighty years, we still have not been able to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, but I am proud to help lead the fight for women’s equality and urge my colleagues to come together to finally pass this bill.”
The first version of the Equal Rights Amendment was written in 1923 by Alice Paul, who also founded the National Women’s Party and was a key figure in helping to pass the 19th Amendment to give women the right to vote. The amendment passed Congress in 1972 but fell short of the 38 states required for full ratification by three states.
Gillibrand is an original cosponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment. This legislation is led by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and also cosponsored by Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jackie Rosen (D-NV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
The full text of the legislation is available here.