Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

Islandlawyers celebrates Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates women in the U.S. winning the right to vote.  Amazingly, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was only passed in 1920, meaning that women have only voting rights in this country for 95 years.  Time Magazine earlier today noted that women only make up 33% of the U.S. Supreme Court, 19% of the U.S. House, and 20% of the U.S. Senate, even though women are exercising their voting rights, turning out in greater numbers and greater percentages than men in U.S. elections.

A glaring shortcoming in women’s equality is the failure of the U.S. to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA.  The ERA proposed to ensure equal rights for women in the United States.  In the expansion of rights over the last few decades, most Americans are probably unaware that this right does not exist.  Although the ERA was passed by Congress in 1972, it needed to be ratified by at least 38 of the 50 states (greater than 75% of the states) by 1982.  Over the next ten years however, only 35 states ratified the Amendment.  Despite being a sad statement on the country’s position on women’s rights, it is nice to note the first state to ratify the ERA:  Hawaii.

We rejoice today for the women in our society, our mothers and daughters, sisters and grandmothers, friends and even strangers.  #WomensEqualityDay  #ERANow