In this modern age, gender inequality seems like an issue that belongs only in the past. However, you might be surprised to find out that some rights are still not equally enjoyed by men and women today. This is why the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is still a hot topic for discussion.
The ERA was created to ensure the rights of women and outlaw discrimination based on sex. It was just a few years after women were granted the right to vote that Alice Paul wrote the ERA in 1923. She was a suffragist leader and the founder of the National Woman’s Party. It passed both houses of Congress in 1972 but didn’t get the required 3/4 ratification by the states. Some states have adopted this amendment into their constitution, but it has never been adopted into the United States Constitution.
One reason cited for the opposition of this amendment is the influence of activists. Others also argue that the ERA is confusing. Why are there still different opinions about this issue when gender equality should be a thing of the past? Do the disadvantages of passing this amendment weigh heavier than the advantages?
List of Pros of the Equal Rights Amendment
1. It gives everyone equal rights.
By adding the ERA, the U.S. Constitution will guarantee that everyone will have human, civil, legal, and diplomatic rights from all types of prejudice. The legal standard for court rulings on cases related to gender discrimination would also be clarified.
2. It abolishes gender discriminating laws.
The ERA would provide a clearer court standard for settling cases of gender discrimination and it would also clarify sex inequity jurisprudence.
3. It recognizes woman’s rights as legal.
With the ERA, the law will recognize women and men as equals. This means women will no longer have to keep on fighting for their place in society, and they can receive the same opportunities as men, such as salary increase and promotions that are the same as what men get.
List of Cons of the Equal Rights Amendment
1. It uses unclear language.
The ERA is not written clearly and contain tricky wordings that may lead to plenty of room for interpretation, confusion, and the lack of gender equality. Opposing parties argue that it can take away certain rights from women while adding to others, and take away some essential rights of masses control and the states. For example, the Social Security and Protective Labor Laws that women enjoy today can be taken away. But supporters of the amendment say that the laws would extend to men instead.
2. It can cause problems with the Constitution.
A major concern since the ERA was first introduced is how it will influence the way laws will be made, especially because it is confusing. And since federal laws are derived from the Constitution, it might cause problems with the laws created once the amendment is in place.
3. It can result to implementation problems.
Section two of the ERA states that only Congress has the power to enforce its provisions outlined in the amendment. This states didn’t take this very well because it gives the federal government more power and takes away the rights of every state. Plus, changes have to be made to any laws that exhibit gender discrimination or are in conflict with the ERA.
Why does granting equal rights to everyone involve so many issues? Do you think it is worth it to go through the tedious process of implementing the Equal Rights Amendment?