Although the 19th Amendment provided women with the right to vote over 100 years ago, and women have made significant progress since that time, the U.S. Constitution still does not provide women with full legal gender equality. In the early 20th century, Suffragists, including Alice Paul, Ida Wells, and many others, were instrumental in pursuing progress for women’s rights.
New Jersey Suffragist and lawyer Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA and/or the Amendment) nearly 100 years ago, but it still has not been adopted. Now that the requisite 38 states have ratified the ERA, its ratification would seem within reach, but considerable resistance and obstacles remain. To fully understand the ERA and challenges to its passage and ratification, it is critical to consider our nation’s history and the long-standing battle for gender equality.