Just last week, on March 22, 2017, the state of Nevada ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), 45 years to the day after it was passed by Congress and sent to states! This is big exciting news for women who want a permanent guarantee of basic human rights for women locked in the US Constitution.
That’s the good news. Let’s turn our attention to the stalemate that is the passage of the ERA in North Carolina. North Carolina, where only about 25% of legislators are women. (13/50 in Senate, 29 of 120 in House, per http://www.ncleg.net/library/Documents/WomenintheGA.pdf )
I’m proud to say that the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of working for the ERA nationally and in North Carolina. Most of the women I know who joined NC NOW in the 1970s or early 1980s did so to pass the ERA. And many are still working for equality and fairness for women and others. Still. You could say we have a thing or two in common with Senator Elizabeth Warren – we persist.
In fact, there are two events at the NC General Assembly as part of Women’s Mobilization Monday on March 27, 2017 – a press conference at 3pm and another event at 6:30pm. We’d like to get more people there for 6:30pm, but come to either one or both!
As Robin Davis wrote in NC NOW’s Legislative Update #8, “The re-introduction of the ERA for ratification in various state legislatures (including North Carolina) is part of the “three-state strategy” for ratification (although now [with Nevada ratifying ERA] it has become a two-state strategy). This publication explains the three-state strategy, http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/misc/ERA_3-state.pdf.“
NC NOW has been very active in ratifying the ERA in NC. NOW even has a project dedicated to ERA – NC4ERA.org, and is one of the founding members of the ERA-NC Alliance, which was founded in 2016.
Bills to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment have been introduced in both Houses of the North Carolina legislature, and NC NOW is working to spur action on these bills.
ERA-NC Alliance and NC4ERA.org planned a Women’s Mobilization Monday in Raleigh on Monday, March 27, to advocate for ratification of the ERA in NC. Events include a press conference at 3:00 pm in the General Assembly Press Room and supporters assembling in the 1000 court at 6:30pm and in the House gallery at 7:00 pm where they will be recognized. NC NOW President Gailya Paliga is one of the planned speakers. The press conference will be facilitated by NC NOW and NC4ERA’s Marena Groll.
You can take action to move the ERA bills along by contacting members of the House and Senate Rules Committee to tell them to take up House Bill 102 or Senate Bill 85. Follow this link to find out what to do and who to contact:
Durham NOW is the most recent organization to hold an ERA event, which was Sunday, March 26, 2017. See the event notice for the Equal Means Equal documentary screening (posted 2/28/17) at ‘Why We Need ERA‘.
As past NOW President Kim Gandy said in 2007, “The passage of such an amendment would be a crucial step toward eradicating pervasive gender discrimination in employment, insurance, health care, education, social security and other sectors, and the survival of existing protections, like Title VII (employment discrimination) and Title IX (equal educational opportunities), would not be at the whim of the Congress and the courts.” President Trump just altered Title IX this month, as discussed in “Trump’s new transgender policy could radically change HB2 fight,” 2/22/17, News & Observer.
Please learn more about the ERA and join us in this struggle to guarantee women’s rights!