Winning Recognition of the 28th Amendment

By Giving List Women   |   May 20, 2024
Equal Rights Amendment supporters marching on December 13 on the 100-year anniversary of the ERA’s introduction in Congress. (photo by Allison Bailey)

In the U.S., there is no constitutional protection against sex discrimination. There is no explicit guarantee of equal rights for all regardless of sex. Simply put, men and women are not equal according to our Constitution.

In 1923, legendary activists Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman sought to change this by introducing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Congress. Throughout the ensuing years, the proposed amendment kept getting reintroduced. In 1971, it was finally passed by the House, and in 1972, it was passed by the Senate. By 2020, the necessary two-thirds of the states had ratified the ERA. But pending complicated, lengthy legal challenges, today the ERA is still not a constitutional amendment.

“We have fulfilled all the requirements. It just needs to be published. We don’t have it; we should have it. There’s just no one willing to do it,” says Bettina Hager, the ERA Coalition’s chief of policy and programs.

Fighting for an Equal Future

The ERA Coalition is a movement designed to push forward, on every front possible, the advancement of equality and the ultimate recognition of the ERA. The ERA would create a permanent constitutional basis for protecting reproductive rights, ensuring equal pay for equal work, providing stronger protections for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people. 

Few women globally have true gender equality. The World Economic Forum compares countries’ gender gaps across four dimensions: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Iceland ranks at the top of their list of countries closing the gender gap. Where does the U.S. rank? Forty-third out of 146 countries in 2023. Down from 27th in 2022.

The ERA Coalition is determined to change that. “Our democracy would be much stronger if we had equality on the basis of sex in our Constitution,” says Hager. “Equality is fundamental to democracy.”

Sweeping Strategies

The ERA Coalition convenes a diverse alliance of over 300 partner organizations representing 80 million people across the country. They employ a vast array of far-reaching strategies, including mobilizing support on Capitol Hill, legal expertise, research, tracking candidates’ positions on equality issues, and educational media outreach to galvanize efforts nationally to champion the ERA movement. They have state policy working groups pushing for more ratifications, state-level ERAs, resolutions to support recognition of the federal ERA, and audits of state laws and administrative codes for compliance with the ERA. Additionally, they have several youth group members, including Feminist Front and Young Feminist Party, and young women forming their own youth coalition for the ERA, which the ERA Coalition supports with resources and mentorship.

“We are keeping the drumbeat going and making sure that everyone knows that people around the country care about equal rights,” says Hager.

Equal Rights Under the Law

Today, 85% of the 193 United Nations member states have a provision in their constitution that specifically addresses gender equality – but not the U.S.

“Right now, we don’t even know what it would feel like to live in a country that guarantees equality,” says Hager. “We only know what it feels like not to have it.”


ERA Coalition

Donate now!
(703) 239-3788
President and CEO: Zakiya Thomas


ERA is working with their partner organizations to provide a strong, multigenerational, inclusive forum for all voices. They are building the groundswell moving toward a more equal future for all.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.