Women Being Equal

After decades of tireless campaigning, the battle of women’s suffrage came down to a single vote cast by the youngest member of the legislature. This vote ratified the nineteenth amendment and guaranteed women the right to vote. In 1923, three years after the 19th amendment was ratified, suffragist Alice Paul proposed a new amendment that declares men and women equal under the law. This is known as the Equal Rights Amendment. Today, nearly one-hundred years later, its passage still isn’t completed. If Virginia voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, it may become a law.

Harnessing the power of its new democratic majority, the Virginia legislature is poised to vote this week to become the 38th of the 38 states needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which should make women’s rights explicit in the Constitution. 

I find it crazy how, even after 100 years, the ERA still hasn’t ratified. The ERA was brought to every session of congress for nearly 50 years.

“The female population has outnumbered men at colleges within the United States, and the House of Representatives has elected a record-breaking number of female candidates,” said Mackenzie Oster, from the Pitt News Opinion section. 

Even with all these factors, women are still not granted federal equality. After so many years, the ratification of the ERA is long overdue. I believe that they should have ratified the ERA sooner and that there shouldn’t have been any conflict in the first place. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the heads of congress were at fault: Congress passed the ERA in 1972, sending the amendment to the states to ratify within a seven-year period before later extending the deadline to 1982. Three-fourths of state legislatures, or 38 out of 50, need to ratify it; it is the states that are at fault. While the passage of the ERA would formally enforce that every American is protected against discriminative allegations based on gender under the Constitution, it would also mean so much more than that. The ERA’s passage would be a symbolic victory for any person who has faced sex discrimination. In my opinion, the protests to ratify the ERA has impacted our society and made many civilians aware of what is happening. I believe that there are many issues with the equality system and that the ERA can make a beneficial impact.

History will be made when the ERA is finally ratified.