Women’s Rights: Our Unfinished Business
The Time Is Now -Women Need Equality-Long Time Since 1923
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The Equal Rights Amendment, introduced in 1923, passed by Congress in 1972, not ratified.
The United States has made considerable progress in improving human rights policies and guarantees but it is still deficient when it comes to women’s rights. For 95 years American women have been fighting for a guarantee of their rights in the United States Constitution. It is still not there.
This is unfinished business that needs to be finished. Equality between women and men is a basic human right that should be guaranteed in our Constitution.
Some people have argued that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause is adequate to ensure women’s rights. However it has never been interpreted to protect against sex discrimination in the same way the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would.
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said of the Constitution in 2010: Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.
Having an explicit Constitutional guarantee is important legally, morally and economically. While some laws have improved women’s rights these laws do not have the power and clarity that having the ERA as part of the Constitution would carry. Also, it would serve to create more consistency among the states in their treatment of women and women’s rights.
This amendment would provide a clearer and stricter judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination. It would ensure that sex discrimination gets the same level of strict judicial scrutiny that race discrimination gets now.
Currently the only right the Constitution specifically affirms to be equal for women and men is the right to vote guaranteed by the 19th Amendment ratified in 1920.