In 1972, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, Richard Nixon was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year and in the United States, The Equal Rights Amendment was passed.
This was first proposed by the National Women’s political party nearly 50 years prior in 1923 that wouldn’t allow discrimination on the basis of gender.
According to National Council of Women’s Organizations, “The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was passed by Congress in 1972 and sent to the states for ratification. It was ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 state legislatures, but even with an extension of the ratification deadline from 1979 to 1982, organized anti-equality political, economic, social and religious forces prevented any further state ratifications.”
Hawaii was the first state to ratify this amendment, but it was not able to be ratified due to a backlash of feminism.
While it took a while in the 20th century to get the final proposal on this amendment, it is was eventually written as follows on history.com, “‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.’”
In recent months, there have been Women’s Marches, International Day of Women and numerous occasions of feminism prevailing.
Women and men are still fighting some of these same rights in the 21st century.
For example, women’s rights in the workplace have been long fought over with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the right for everyone to receive the same money for doing the same job.
However, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “On average, women today earn just 78 cents for every dollar that men earn—an increase of only 17 cents on the dollar since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was enacted. The figures are even more dismal for women of color. Black women are paid only 64 cents and Latinas only 54 cents for every dollar that white men earn.”
While it has been 35 years since The Equal Rights Amendment was passed, the struggles for gender equality and equality for all minorities seems to be an ongoing battle.
Moreover, this is not just a battle being fought in the U.S., it’s consequences can be felt all around the world.
The Equal Rights Amendment, in its most recent form, now reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”
Mary Curtin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org