The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 26, 1920, granting women the right to vote. In 1971, Congress honored this historic milestone by designating August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. We’ve come a long way since 1920 (and even 1971) but it’s 2017 and women still do not have full equality under our Constitution.
“How can this be?”, you might be thinking. Well, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was championed by Alice Paul and others after women won the right to vote, was passed by Congress in 1972 but was only ratified by 35 of the required 38 states before the deadline.
Some may wonder why we need the ERA after all of the progress we’ve made over the past (almost) century. The reality is, while there are many great laws on the books, they can be easily undone. Some are full of holes, many are not enforced, and they are open to wide interpretation and application.
This is why we still need the Equal Rights Amendment. Let’s finish what our foremothers started! We need EVERYONE’s support if we’re going to win the fight for constitutional equality.
Here’s how you can get involved:
Get educated. Check out these web sites to learn more about the status of the ERA and what you can do: www.equalrightsamendment.org, www.mnnow.org, www.eramn.org/faqs.html
Contact your elected representatives and let them know that the ERA is vital to ensuring equal rights for women. While Minnesota has already passed the federal ERA, there’s still work that can be done at the state level. Find out who your elected representatives are here, then make some calls to their offices.
Attend the screening of “Equal Means Equal”, co-sponsored by ERAMN and Minnesota NOW, on August 26th @ 7:00 pm at the Humphrey School’s Cowles Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.
Join the Minnesota NOW Constitutional Equality Committee and help us educate others about the need for the ERA. We’ll be handing out leaflets at entrances to the Minnesota State Fair on August 26th. This will be a FUN event! Some of us plan to wear period outfits, so come and celebrate Women’s Equality Day with us! (Costumes encouraged but not required.) For more information and to volunteer for a two-hour shift, please contact Gordy Gustafson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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