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Equal Rights Amendment, H.J. Res. 40 (110)

In brief: a bipartisan resolution proposing an Amendment to the Constution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first proposed in 1923 and re-written by Alice Paul in 1943. Her amended language is still used today:

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

GFWC has supported the ERA since 1944. 

Status and details  |  Complete history


Passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in March 1972, the ERA was then sent to the states for ratification. Twenty-two states quickly ratified the amendment within the first year, but by 1977 Indiana became the 35th and last state to vote for ratification. Ratification by 38 states is necessary to move the possible 28th Amendment forward.

The ERA was introduced again in 1982 and subsequently has been introduced in every Congress since. While sometimes referred to as the Women's Equality Amendment, the ERA uses sex-neutral language to guarantee equal rights to both men and women, defending all genders against sex discrimination under the law. Twenty-two states provide in their constitutions either inclusive or partial guarantees of equal rights on the basis of sex, but a federal Equal Rights Amendment would provide all U.S. citizens with equal protection under the law.

The following states have not ratified the ERA: Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; Nevada; North Carolina; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Utah; and Virginia.

Learn More

National Organization for Women asks: Who needs an equal rights amendment? You do!

ERA Task Force discusses why we need the ERA

ğRead some questions (and answers) about the ERA

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