Left Menu
Development News Edition

Decades long fight on women's right still on before U.S. lawmakers

Devdiscourse News Desk | New York | Updated: 01-05-2019 03:56 IST | Created: 01-05-2019 03:39 IST
Decades long fight on women's right still on before U.S. lawmakers
Image Credit: Devdiscourse News Desk

By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK, April 30 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee equal rights for women on Tuesday got its first hearing in nearly four decades in the U.S. Congress, where leaders said the measure could win approval amid "a groundswell" of activism among women.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was approved by Congress in 1972 but fell short of being ratified by enough U.S. states by a deadline set for 10 years later. Measures before Congress now would lift that deadline or reintroduce the amendment.

The U.S. Constitution does not specifically guarantee equal rights for women, and the ERA would ensure women are treated the same as men under state and federal law. Crowds filled the room on Capitol Hill where the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing opened with a statement by actress and activist Patricia Arquette.

"There's a groundswell in this country," she said. "Women are being elected in record numbers. Women are rising up by the millions and saying they will not be sexually assaulted. They will not be paid less." A record 117 women were elected or appointed to Congress following last November's midterm elections, when the Democratic Party won control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the #MeToo movement, untold numbers of women have spoken out about sexual harassment and abuse. "Women have been waiting 232 years for equality in this country, and it's failed them," Arquette said. "Legislators have blocked the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment for decades, but we're done waiting."

A legal expert testifying at the hearing said Congress has the power to change the ERA deadline. In the years following its approval in 1972, the ERA was a powerful rallying cry among women's groups fighting for its ratification in state legislatures across the country.

But at the time of the 1982 deadline, it was three states short of the 38 it needed. It has since been ratified by 37 states. It narrowly failed to pass in the Virginia state legislature earlier this year.

Opponents say the amendment might weaken laws that protect women or argue women's rights are sufficiently protected and a separate amendment is unnecessary. Others link it to the controversial issue of abortion rights. "The ERA is as simple as it is necessary," Representative Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat and the House Judiciary chairman, said in a statement. "It is shocking the Constitution still fails to expressly guarantee gender equality."

The first ERA was introduced in 1923, and the last Congressional hearing on it was held in 1984.



Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...


Latest News

Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Bahrain Grand Prix

Team by team analysis of Sundays Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix listed in championship order -MERCEDES Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 8 Hamilton won from pole, leading all but one lap, in a race that finished behind the safety car. It wa...

Odd News Roundup: Monolith mystery deepens as Utah desert object vanishes

Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.Monolith mystery deepens as Utah desert object vanishesNo word as to whether Star Treks Scotty beamed it up, but the mysterious, shiny monolith that was spotted in a remote southeastern Utah...

Entertainment News Roundup: Darth Vader actor David Prowse dies aged 85; Box Office: 'The Croods 2' Leads Sluggish Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.Darth Vader actor David Prowse dies aged 85David Prowse, the English actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, has died aged 85, his management company said on ...

Members of oil cartel to meet as coronavirus rattles demand

Leaders of the OPEC cartel are meeting virtually to decide, once again, how much oil their members should produce as lockdowns related to the coronavirus continue to stifle demand for crude. Theyre expected to extend production cuts well in...

Give Feedback