NEW YORK, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 63rd Annual United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women Conference found Bishop Musonda Selwyn Trevor Mwamba welcoming the delegates and attendees to the Let's Pass the Equal Rights Amendment Parallel Event held at the U.N.'s Church Center on March 11, 2019. Bishop Mwamba stated in his address:
"I am praying that you will be inspired to take what you learn here today--from the amazing panelists assembled before you--back to your countries' leaders in government and in private sector and share the petition that you will receive in the workshop calling on the U.S. Congress to remove the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which has held it up for more than thirty-five years. Each country must recognize what women bring to the table and contribute to the social fabric and to the economy--that equality for women is equality for all humankind. Together in the 21st Century, we can work together in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. God Bless you all."
Katrina's Dream urged women's rights advocates and attendees to call upon their networks to petition the U.S. Congress to remove the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.). See https://bit.ly/2C0y8pj. The event featured panelists: Carol Jenkins, Kate Kelly, Professor Julie Suk and Gilda Yazzie, and included an educational video and workshop. A petition calling on the U.S. Congressional Judiciary Chairs, US Senator Lindsey Graham and US Representative Jerry Nadler, to hold hearings was circulated and is a continuing action of the event. See https://bit.ly/2u73KFk. Tammy Simkins coordinated a Satellite Event organized by the League of Women Voters of Chillicothe/Ross County, Ohio's E.R.A. Committee.
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation,
the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
The original E.R.A. was known as "The Lucretia Mott Amendment" and was drafted in 1923 by Alice Paul, Crystal Eastman, and several other women and introduced to both chambers of Congress the same year. In the 1940's, the E.R.A.'s language changed to the current form and became known as the "Alice Paul Amendment." When the E.R.A. passed out of the U.S. Congress in 1972, there was a seven-year time limit for obtaining the ratification of the thirty-eight necessary states to ratify a Constitutional Amendment written into the proposing clause of the amendment. The seven-year deadline was extended three more years--for a total of ten--by Congressional Resolution in 1979. When the deadline passed in 1982, the E.R.A. needed three more states to ratify to enshrine it into the U.S. Constitution; the amendment was then considered a dormant issue. Work on the E.R.A. came to a grinding halt as it was now believed piecemeal legislation was the best way to go to ensure that all people be treated equally under the law. However recent years have demonstrated that piecemeal legislation has "no teeth" without the E.R.A.
In 2004, the Rev. Katrina Swanson called upon her family members, friends, and the parishioners of the churches where she was a priest, to take up the ministry of promoting and educating folks as to the importance of passing the E.R.A. Katrina's Dream sent a team over to the 2008 Lambeth Conference where they promoted the passage of the E.R.A. In 2009, Katrina's Dream lobbied for the passage of D042 of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which calls for the renewed support of the passage of the E.R.A. The E.R.A. was resurrected under the "Three State Strategy" in 2011 by then U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin who crafted a resolution calling for the removal of the deadline, citing support from Katrina's Dream and a number of other organizations. In 2014, Helene de Boissiere – Swanson embarked on a pilgrimage of over 7,000 miles, covering the then 15 unratified states and finishing in Washington D.C. on Women's Equality Day 2015. See https://livingchurch.org/2015/08/25/march-rally-renew-era/ The pilgrimage lead to Nevada ratifying the E.R.A. in March 2017 with Illinois following suit in May 2018-- leaving just one state and the removal of the ratification deadline standing in the way of the amendment being included in the US Constitution.
The "Three State Strategy" legislation is now sponsored by U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin and US Representative Jackie Speier. US Representative Jerry Nadler, Chair of the US House of Representative Judiciary Committee, has agreed to hold a hearing and pass the legislation through the US House of Representatives. Holding up the removal of the deadline is Senator Lindsey Graham, Chair of the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Graham's staff has not confirmed or denied whether Graham will co-sponsor or hold hearings on the Senate Joint Resolution.
There is significant movement in the 13 remaining unratified states and political analysts expect that the 38th state will ratify shortly after the deadline is removed. This would eliminate the explanation for states such as Virginia, whose legislators have refused to ratify the E.R.A.--stating the deadline is the obstacle preventing it from moving forward. Georgia State Representative Billy Mitchell is pushing forward with legislation for ratification in his state and Arizona State Senator Victoria Steele is one of many leading the charge in her state. The 13 remaining unratified states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Utah.
Organizations, national and state leaders, and individuals who are working to pass the E.R.A. collaborate every Sunday at 4:00 pm ET on THE CALL, a weekly non-partisan program featuring speakers addressing the systemic issues that the E.R.A. will impact and strategizing and organizing actions from across the country on both the federal legislation and state ratification in the 13 remaining unratified states. The program hosts are Helene de Boissiere Swanson of Katrina's Dream, Sharon J. Hill of Public Eye Report, and Tammy Simkins of One Rural Woman. Join us! Program details can be found at https://bit.ly/2T1B8wp
Helene de Boissiere - Swanson
SOURCE Katrina's Dream