NOW Cheers Reintroduction of Equal Rights Amendment in Congress
The National Organization for Women welcomed the reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment at a Capitol Hill press conference with hopes it will renew the national dialogue on constitutional equality for women.
"Properly interpreted, the Equal Rights Amendment would be a permanent guatantee of basic human rights for women," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "With such an amendment to the Constitution, our fundamental rights and liberties would no longer be subject to the ever-changing political cycle."
Gandy and former NOW President Ellie Smeal commended the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), for her dedication to achieving constitutional equality. A number of women members of Congress stood in solidarity with the leaders of many national women's organizations-including Rep. Barbata Lee (D-Calif), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Rep. Hilda Soils (D-Calif.).
Women were not included in the Constitution at the founding of our country. For the entire history of the United States, women have been purposely disadvantaged by the lack of a Constitutional guarantee of equality.
Evidence of this disadvantage can be chronicled over decades of U.S. history-discriminatory patterns in employment, education, insurance, health care, Social security, pensions, military service and the justice system, to name just a few.
Even though the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is frequently cited as a source of protection for women, that amendment was never intended as a prohibition against sex discrimination and does not provide equal protection for women - in fact it was ratified at a time when women did not even have the right to vote. …