The time has come for equality among women and men to be recognized and supported by our United States Constitution. As current high school students studying the impact women have had in history and in our everyday lives, we want to carry the flame of equality and realize the dream of ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Many women and men have made it their life's work to see the Constitution ensure equal protection through a simple sentence: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Thirty-five states have already ratified the ERA and together we can get the final three: Florida, Illinois, and Virginia.
We started the petition while in a women's studies class. While we went into the class understanding women have had many struggles and made many gains, we were surprised to learn how much inequality still exists and how many states treat women differently. When we learned about the ERA we became inspired. The ERA has a long history deeply rooted in women's suffrage, an early version proposed a year after women gained the right to vote. For almost a 100 years there has been an effort to make sure women are treated equally to men no matter where they live in the United States.
The ERA has been supported by everyone from Eisenhower to Obama, enjoying bipartisan support and endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic party at different points. In the 1970's the ERA was almost ratified, 35 of the 38 states needed passing the amendment. Through our research we learned of the 3 state strategy - an effort to get the final 3 states needed to finally make the ERA a part of the Constitution - and determined Virginia, Illinois, and Florida are the most likely to join the 35 states who have ratified the ERA.
Ratifying the amendment would lead to more representation by women in government, equal treatment in health care, benefits, pay, and other policies. It would end the long patchwork of laws where some women are protected in some states, while in other states women are left vulnerable or worse. It will strengthen our families and country.
Join us in asking for the states of Virginia, Illinois, and Florida to ratify the ERA now. Sign our petition and help equality for all women a reality.