Debate over Equal Rights Amendment

In Opinion
Photo courtesy of / National archives and photos
Photo courtesy of / National archives and photos

Written in 1923 and passed through Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment  failed to receive an adequate number of states to ratify the amendment, resulting in its demise.

But why did Congress choose to ignore women’s rights altogether?

There seems to be a large gap in the relevancy and importance that Congress places on the equal rights of women.

“The factors that lead to these gaps are well documented and complex, but some of this gap is simple sexism,” according to the Huffington Post.

Approximately 30 percent of women report facing discrimination in the workplace, oftentimes due to unfair wages between them and their male counterparts.

However, because these accusations require “strict scrutiny” by the government, it is often difficult for employees to support such claims.

Women, both present and future generations, need an Equal Rights Amendment to pass to ensure their protection against discrimination by the male population.

If an Equal Rights Amendment were to pass, women would have the written support of the Constitution. Instead of women having to prove that they were being discriminated against, violators of the amendment would face a harsher reality, having to prove their innocence.

The benefits of ratifying the amendment are fairly simple. By passing the Equal Rights Amendment, the government would not only open doors of opportunity for women in the country, but also open them all around the world.

It is not just about empowering women, it is about creating an equal playing field for all genders. It is the first step in creating an equal platform in a nation with an already progressive mindset.

Justice Antonin Scalia said the problem is the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, but there are other ways besides an amendment to tackle the issue.

“If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws,” Scalia said.

Scalia’s comments were made after a debate over the definition of the 14th Amendment and whether or not its purpose was to secure women’s rights under the constitution—which it does not.

As the years go by, women will continue to face discrimination throughout their lives until someone or something finds an effective resolution to end this issue.

However, with a plethora of women’s rights groups, feminists and supporters, there may be a glimmer of hope afterall.

The National Organization for Women has proposed their own resolution to make contributions and back any political candidate who chooses to support the Equal Rights Amendment.

The incentive will not only boost candidate backing for Equal Rights Amendment, but may help its cause if the amendment passes through Congress once again.

“Today, women make up only 18 percent of Congress, with slim minority representation; we earn less, and we face the effects of sex based discrimination and gender violence in everything from immigration policy and education to healthcare and mass incarceration,” according to The Huffington Post.

The bottom line is women always have been and always will be discriminated against , no matter what the Constitution states.

The struggle for women to prove themselves in a male dominated society will never come to an end so for now, it is important for society to support and enact the Equal Rights Amendment for women in the future.

In today’s society, it would be rather unpatriotic to say we live in a free world when in reality we’re denying equal rights to half of society. With such a low statistic of women working in Congress and such a high rate of discrimination, the road to gender equality may still be years away.

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