Women's Rights Must Be Guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution

We won't stand for sexists like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia interpreting women's rights as unprotected in the U.S. Constitution. In a recent interview, Scalia erroneously stated that women are not protected under the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Right now, five justices have the power to pick and choose when women should be considered full citizens. And that's not right.

On Jan. 6 Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) stood with NOW and women's rights advocates outside the Capitol to call for putting women into the Constitution. Watch now and sign the petition to stand with them.

We need to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution that will guarantee women and men equal status under the law. I stand with NOW today to demand that Congress and the states put women in the Constitution.
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    BACKGROUND:

    The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ensure women and men equal status under the law and would explicitly include and protect everyone, regardless of sex. After being ratified by 35 states, the ERA fell short of national ratification by just three states in 1982. Since then, constitutional equality for women has been introduced in every session of Congress. Women must be put into the Constitution to finally provide assurance that rights will not be denied or abridged by the government on the basis of sex -- or the sexist opinions of Supreme Court justices.

    Throughout the history of this country, women have faced systematic and purposeful discrimination. Women were conspicuously absent from the U.S. Constitution when it was drafted more than 200 years ago, and to this day women still have no explicit legal guarantee of equal protection. While the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is commonly viewed as a source of protection for women, it does not provide sufficient legal remedies for sex discrimination. The ERA must be ratified to ensure meaningful and lasting equality for all women.

    The National Organization for Women has a long and intensive history with the ERA, having mobilized one of the largest grassroots advocacy campaigns in history in support of ratification during the 1970s and early 1980s. We can and will undertake additional efforts, as the time is long overdue for a constitutional guarantee of equality between the sexes.

    At the beginning of this 112th Congress, House Speaker John Boehner led a reading of the Constitution, and prior to joining, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) stood with NOW and women's rights advocates outside the Capitol to call for putting women into the Constitution.



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