The ERA 100 Years Later


Today, literally a hundred years later, lawmakers are fighting to finally ratify the ERA and continue the progression of an equal opportunity society and country for men and women. The ERA, or Equal Rights Amendment, was first introduced to Congress in 1923 and had the purpose of equalizing men and women under law. Although it was passed in 1972, the proposed amendment did not reach the three fourths majority of states (38 to be exact) needed to be ratified within the seven year deadline set by Congress, meaning that it never became a part of the US Constitution. Following recent women marches, movements like the #MeToo, as well as the amount of women running for and winning seats in Congress, the ERA dispute has been brought to the table once again. Is it too late to make it a law or can the government finally make an effort to pass a very much needed amendment? 


Let’s take a trip back to the Roaring 20’s full of prosperity, jazz bands, bootleggers, raccoon coats, flappers, and marathon dancers. At the time, many women were against the ERA because of the fear of dealing with the consequences of being equal to men, mostly the fact that they would be considered for military drafts. After decades of collecting support for the amendment as well as it being under improvements and modifications, Congress passed it in 1972, but it was not ratified in the time it needed to be so. “The majority of women simply don’t want it,” argued Schlafly, an anti- ERA conservative in 1976. Only 35 states adopted the amendment in the given period of time it had to be adopted, however, 3 years ago in 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment, meeting the three fourths majority of states it needed in order to be ratified in the Constitution. The thing is, this occurred nearly four decades after the deadline had passed, showing how the states in this country sure do know how to turn things in late.


The House in 2020 and 2021 voted to remove the expired deadline to ratify the amendment, especially after Virgina had met the 38-state threshold, but the Justice Department under President Donald Trump’s administration claimed that removing it would be impossible since it had already expired. What the ERA advocates are now asking Congress to do is to forget about the deadline or simply remove it without considering its expiration date especially with the current surge of dangerous and targeted attacks against women and the LGBTQ community. 


Sadly, we have heard nothing regarding Biden’s visions for the ERA, meaning that what the Justice Department had decided is still being followed. Nevertheless, there are countless movements, groups and organizations fighting for the ratification of the ERA, the biggest one being the ERA Coalition, which has had its results. I am happy to inform that the Senate held its first hearing on the ERA in 40 years just last week at the end of February 2023. “Here we are, a century after its first introduction, 2023,” stated Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “It’s time to get the job done. In fact, it’s long overdue.” If passed, this amendment will transform women’s rights, benefits and responsibilities, with changes including eliminating pay and pregnancy discrimination and adding support for mothers and workforce equity among other long overdue things.



Bleiweis, Robin. “The Equal Rights Amendment: What You Need to Know.” Center for American Progress, 3 Dec. 2021,

Cherner, Julia, et al. “Lawmakers Renew Push to Ratify Equal Rights Amendment 100 Years Later.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 5 Mar. 2023,

Looker, Rachel. “’It’s Time to Clear the Path to Equality’: Senate Revisits Equal Rights Amendment after 40 Years.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 5 Mar. 2023,