◊ Equal Justice under the law is a fundamental human right.
◊ Without the ERA, women are not guaranteed equality under the law like men are under the U.S. Constitution.
◊ The 14th amendment’s equality clause does not protect against sex discrimination. If it did, we wouldn’t have needed the 19th amendment just to vote!
◊ The lack of equality under the constitution fuels the belief that women are not equal. This, in turn, impacts women in every corner of their lives.
◊ Women are subject to a patchwork of equality laws depending on their location and the whims of Washington.
◊ Cases of gender discrimination require a higher burden of proof in court than discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin.
◊ Without the ERA women are forced to endure long, expensive, draining and distracting political and legal battles to prove unequal treatment.
◊ Of all the constitutions across the world, 84% have an equality clause in their country’s constitution, even Afghanistan. The U.S is lagging behind. Why?
◊ Rights and protections for women have come a long way in the past 100 years. However, these gains can be rolled back or repealed, as we’ve recently seen with Title IX protections. Only an amendment to our nation’s founding document can preserve this progress and keep the ball moving forward.
◊ Female Poverty and the wage gap are still unresolved and, at our current rate of progress, won’t be resolved until 2051. Women make up 1/2 of the workforce and 2/3 of minimum wage workers. 75% of our elderly living in poverty are women. 70% of America’s poor are women and the children who depend on them. Moreover, women earn 44-79 cents to every dollar a man is paid. Because of this, women are twice as likely to retire in poverty as men. Without economic equality, women will never be equal. The ERA will help to close the gender pay gap and help ensure that employers could not relegate women to lower pay for doing the same job. For more information and data on the gender wage gap, please visit Equal Means Equal’s Wage Index.
◊ The handling of rape and sexual assault cases in the US is a significant problem. 41% of colleges have not conducted a rape investigation within the last 5 years. Only 2% of rapists go to jail. There are now over 400,000 untested rape kits. Not testing these kits is sex discrimination as the vast majority of rape survivors are women. This would be illegal if we had the Equal Rights Amendment.
◊ The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee paid maternity leave and has a rising maternity mortality rate. Pregnant women are fired for requesting an extra bathroom break or asking – per doctor’s orders – to refrain from heavy lifting. Having an ERA will eliminate the burden of going to court prove intent to discriminate in such cases.