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This Women’s Equality Day We Demand Constitutional Equality

I’m writing to you today from the steps of the US Supreme Court, where Equality Now is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our sister organizations in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.

We both celebrate the anniversary of the certification of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote in the United States, and demand that discrimination on the basis of sex be prohibited in the US Constitution once and for all. We have come a long way in the 101 years since women’s suffrage was passed, but women, girls, and marginalized genders still do not receive the same legal protections as men and boys. 

As we stated in our amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in Commonwealth of Virginia, et al v. Ferriero, when it comes to constitutional equality, the US is a global outlier. 85% of U.N. member states have explicit constitutional provisions that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and/or gender and 100% of constitutions adopted in the 21st century include a gender equality guarantee. Nations across the globe have recognized that a patchwork of federal and state laws are not sufficient protection against discrimination, and it is past time that the United States does as well to live up to its obligations under international law.

We will continue to rally and advocate until all women, no matter their race, class, or any other status, are guaranteed equality in the United States Constitution.