U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

Seeking Equality Under the Law

Following ratification of the 19th Amendment, which secured voting rights for women in 1920, suffragist Alice Paul drafted a constitutional amendment to guarantee equality for women in all areas of the law. Paul's Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1923 and reintroduced in every succeeding Congress until it finally passed both chambers in 1972. When the congressionally mandated deadline for ratification expired in 1982, 35 states had ratified it—three states short of the three-fourths required.

1 Image H.J. Res. 75, Proposing the Equal Rights Amendment, December 13, 1923 View All Images
1 Image Handbill, "Equal Rights Amendment," ca. 1920s View All Images
1 Image Statement of Margaret Mead on the ERA, September 12, 1975 View All Images
1 Image NOW flyer, "Countdown Rally for ERA Ratification," June 30... View All Images