On Women's Equality Day, Let's Talk About the ERA

by Hope Racine

On Aug. 26, the United States commemorates the anniversary of the 19th Amendment with Women's Equality Day — and what better way is there to celebrate Women's Equality Day than by supporting the Equal Rights Amendment? While you remember and celebrate women's right to vote, don't forget that the ERA, despite having been written in 1923, still hasn't passed. Yeah, you read that right.

In case you, like many in America, thought that the ERA was already a part of our constitution, I've got bad news for you. The simple addendum, which prohibits sexual discrimination for either gender, may have been passed by Congress in 1972, but it failed to be ratified by 35 of the 38 necessary states within 10 years. It was never added, and despite being introduced in every Congressional session since, it still hasn't been fully ratified.

The current text of the ERA is adapted from the original statement, written in 1923 by suffragist Alice Paul, and reads:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

This Women's Equality Day, the ERA Coalition, an activist organization dedicated to passing the ERA, is sponsoring the #ERAnow project on social media to gather support and raise awareness. And getting involved is beautifully simple.

Share Your Picture

One of the most fun ways to get involved with the #ERAnow project is to take a picture of yourself striking the famous Rosie the Riveter pose. People like Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Steinem, Brandy Clark, and even the women of the Broadway show Hamilton are getting involved in the project.

Spread The Word

Don't let that selfie go to waste. Share it on your social media networks using the hashtag #ERAnow. The ERA Coalition even provided you with a caption you can use if you want:

Support the Equal Rights Amendment. Share your pic & tell your reps to vote for #ERAnow!

Overhaul Your Profile Picture

Remember when everyone decked out their profile pictures to support marriage equality or to show that they stood with Planned Parenthood? Now you can do it to show your support for the ERA. Just go to this site, and it will add a super nifty #ERAnow theme to your photo. Make it your Twitter or Facebook photo and show your support. I changed my Twitter photo, and it looks awesome.

Contact Your Representative

Probably the most important aspect of the project is to not only spread awareness, but to make your opinions known to your local representative. You can go to the ERA Coalition's website to find your local representative, and see if they support the ERA or not. From there, you can email your senator or representative and urge them to support the ERA.

Women's Equality Day is the perfect day to make a statement about the ERA. While we may have won the right to vote, full equality hasn't yet been achieved. And ratifying the ERA will do more than just empower women — it will provide legal protection for males and females alike, and provide the true, legal equality that is owed to American citizens.

Images: ERA Coalition (3), Hope Racine (1)