The Importance of Passing the ERA by Michelle Jewsbury

The Importance of Passing the ERA…

I once heard from a woman speaking on stage, “I don’t want equal rights.”  She further stated, “I enjoy my doors being opened and men taking me out to dinner and paying the bills.”

Some women believe that if the ERA is passed women will not continue enjoying the frills of being a woman.  Although women still tend to be the primary care givers for their children, they would need to generate the same income and work the same hours as their counterpart in order for things to be “equal.”  This is not what the ERA will do.

According to, “The Equal Right Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.”  To say things frankly, the ERA will help women who have been ostracized in any way due to their sex.  This includes closing the pay gap (currently women earn 75-80% of their male counterpart for the same position) and requiring states to intervene in cases of gender violence, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment.

Over 20,000 women have been murdered by men due to domestic violence since 2003. I nearly became one of those women. For years, I was trapped in the domestic abuse cycle. I walked on eggshells around my partner, suffered his violent blow ups, and tried to believe his apologies. Instead of being accountable, my abuser worked to keep me isolated and silent. In December 2015 I summoned the strength to break that cycle, leave my abuser, and share my story. Now, I work to combat domestic and gender-based violence on a global scale as the founder and CEO of Unsilenced Voices.  The Equal Right Amendment will give other women in my position the support they need.

There is a legal argument that the original 35 states to ratify the amendment in the late 1970’s are still valid.  There are 37 states that have ratified the ERA, we need 38.  Most of the states who have not complied are in the south.  If the argument doesn’t hold true, a new amendment would require a two-thirds vote of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of states.  We need your help.

-Michelle Jewsbury
CEO and Founder of Unsilenced Voices
Author of But I Love Him

For a complimentary digital download of the introduction of the book, text OBSTACLES to 267-86

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The Importance of Passing the ERA by Michelle Jewsbury

by Erik Bowman time to read: 2 min