Equal Rights Amendment

A look at the impact of the Equal Rights Amendment on women’s rights.

This paper discusses how the Equal Rights Amendment, which was first introduced to Congress in 1923, still eludes women, despite the simple words that comprise the entirety of the proposed amendment. It looks at how, throughout history, a quagmire of social, political, and economic forces have prevented ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and how we now appear to be closer than ever before to providing full constitutional protection for women.
Abortion rights are still hotly contested, but retribution against equal rights for women appears to be diminishing. In United States v. Virginia in 1996, the Supreme Court held that the all-male admission policy of the Virginia Military Institute violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. If the Equal Rights Amendment was to come back up for a vote this year, it would certainly stand the best chance of passing in U.S. history and would likely be adopted by a more progressive society than has existed in the past. And, after all, only three more states are needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.