Equal Rights for Women
After women achieved voting rights in 1920 with the 19th Amendment, suffragist Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to guarantee equality for women in all areas of the law. Some opponents, however, feared the ERA would negate other hard-won legal protections for women. Introduced in Congress in 1923, the ERA was reintroduced in every succeeding Congress until it finally passed both chambers in 1972. Ratified by 35 of the 38 states needed, it failed to become a constitutional amendment.