Why: The Equal Rights Amendment NOW! National Woman’s Party, ca. 1939
To many, an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was crucial in guaranteeing equal justice for women. For fifty years, equal rights advocates, including the National Woman’s Party—who produced this pamphlet—campaigned for the ERA. Representative Martha Griffiths of Michigan played a key role in securing the ERA’s passage in 1972. Ultimately the amendment failed to achieve ratification.
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
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.