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December 13, 2023

Pressley, Advocates Mark 100th Anniversary of Equal Rights Amendment Introduction

After march from White House to Capitol, leaders urge Congress to affirm and enshrine gender equality in the U.S. Constitution

Press Conference (YouTube) | Photos (Dropbox)

WASHINGTON — On the 100th Anniversary of the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Co-Chair of the ERA Caucus, held a press conference with advocates calling on elected officials to take the necessary steps to enshrine and publish the ERA in the Constitution. Earlier in the day, advocates marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to urge Congress to affirm the ERA and remove the arbitrary time limit set for ratification when it passed the ERA in 1972.

Rep. Pressley, along with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), is the lead co-sponsor of H.J.Res. 25, a joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the ERA and take a critical step toward enshrining gender equality in the United States Constitution.

“I was proud to stand alongside a diverse coalition of justice-seekers to not only pay homage to those who initiated the fight for gender equality, but also to call out a century of legislated and unrelenting oppression that has left our women and LGBTQ+ siblings unprotected and vulnerable,” said Rep. Pressley. “After 100 years of fearing for our job security, unaddressed sexual violence, denied bodily autonomy, and being relegated to a footnote in history—we say enough is enough. It’s high time Congress affirm gender equality as the law of the land and enshrine the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.”

“The rights of women and LGBTQ+ people are at risk every day. The Equal Rights Amendment would be a powerful tool to make sure our system is fair and equitable for everyone, empowering Congress and the states to pass laws protecting against discrimination and giving everyday people and the Courts essential tools to fight discriminatory practices,” said ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality President and CEO Zakiya Thomas. “It’s been 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress, and we can’t afford to wait one more year for sex equality to be guaranteed under the law.”

Rep. Pressley was joined at the press conference by former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Board Chair of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality; Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (VA-04); Gloria L. Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer of AAUW; Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority; Shalina Effendi, Organizer with Generation Ratify; Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of League of Women Voters; Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA; and community members.

Footage from the press conference can be found here, and photos are here.

Rep. Pressley is a founder and co-chair of the ERA Caucus and has fought to affirm gender equality in the Constitution.

  • Last week, ERA Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Pressley and Bush hosted a Centennial Reception Exhibit at the Library of Congress to highlight the history of Black and brown women and leaders who have been at the forefront of the ERA fight yet seldom recognized.
  • In July 2023, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Cori Bush commemorated July 21, 2023 as the 100th anniversary of when the Equal Rights Amendment was first unveiled.
  • In July 2023, Rep. Pressley led her colleagues in filing a “discharge petition” that could compel the House to hold a vote on H.J. Res. 25, her joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the ERA and enshrine it as the 28th Amendment.
  • In July 2023, Rep. Pressley joined Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in unveiling a resolution recognizing the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • In June 2023, during Pride Month, a coalition of LGBTQ+ grassroots organizations expressed support for H.J.Res. 25, a bicameral joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine gender equality in the U.S. Constitution.
  • In April 2023, Rep. Pressley and the Congressional Caucus on the Equal Rights Amendment rallied behind the Senate’s efforts to bring the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to a vote. Later that day, Rep. Pressley responded to the failed passage on the House Floor.
  • In March 2023, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) led their colleagues in launching the first-ever Congressional Caucus for the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • In March 2023 ahead of the ERA Caucus launch, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful House floor speech commemorating the legacy and contributions of Black women at the forefront of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • In March 2023, on the House floor, Rep. Pressley honored the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and her contributions as a legislator, including her advocacy to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • In February 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Chairwoman Lois Frankel (FL-21) and the Democratic Women’s Caucus, issued a statement applauding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
  • In January 2023, Rep. Pressley and Sen. Cardin led their colleagues in introducing a bicameral, joint resolution to remove the arbitrary deadline for ratification of the ERA and recognize the amendment as a valid part of the Constitution.