NOW Celebrates Women’s Equality Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. — One hundred and one years after the 19th amendment was certified, guaranteeing women the constitutional right to vote, women have used our vote as our voice. And by making our voices heard, we’ve been able to break countless barriers. From recently welcoming our first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, to electing a record-breaking 143 women into the U.S. Congress, each year, we continue to find new walls to push down in our crusade for equality, whether it’s in education, employment or even our health care system.
However, as impressive as our progress has been, our efforts towards equality cannot be guaranteed until we enshrine them in our constitution and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
Many of the strides women made in the last 150 years are actively being overturned before our eyes. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Women’s Law Center analysis shows that women’s participation in the workforce decreased to 57 percent, the lowest since 1988. Women are making an inequitable choice between being caretakers for their families or maintaining a career during this unprecedented time. Women are also still fighting to close pay gaps while navigating environments that poorly address discrimination and harassment. And, many states are seeking to pass more restrictive reproductive healthcare legislation while the Supreme Court is evaluating the securities awarded to women in Roe v. Wade.
Low-income women, women with disabilities, women of color, immigrant women, and the LGBTQIA+ community continue to be disproportionately affected by the current structures of our political systems – structures that provide no clear pathways for justice and don’t protect survivors against domestic violence, harassment, and sexual assault. This is why NOW supports an intersectional interpretation of the ERA that uplifts the needs of all women, especially those from marginalized and underrepresented communities.
Ratifying the ERA is a top priority for NOW. We will continue to advocate for its passage by applying pressure on our elected officials until it is outlined in our bill of rights. Without the ERA, women cannot fully step into their roles as full citizens protected under the constitution. The threat of regression remains.
This Women’s Equality Day, NOW urges the Senate to pass SJ Res 1, eliminating the timeline for ratifying the ERA. Women were deliberately left out of the constitution, and it’s way past time to correct this oversight and ensure “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged… on account of sex.” There is no deadline on equality; pass the ERA, NOW.