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Bob Dole speaking for Equal Rights Amendment for Women in sports

Equal Rights Amendment


The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights to all American citizens, regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between women and men in matters of employment, divorce, property, etc. It was first introduced into Congress in 1923 by two Kansans- Senator Charles Curtis and Representative Daniel R. Anthony, Jr. The ERA was put forth to Congress every year thereafter, but was not passed by both the House and Senate until 1972. However, the amendment was never adopted because only 30 of the required 38 states ratified it by 1979. As of 2019, 37 states have ratified the amendment and there continues to be discussion about equal treatment. 

Date Range

  • 1970-1991

Online Materials

  • Pamphlets and publications from the National Organization for Women, a speech by Senator Dole, correspondence, Congressional Research Service (CRS) materials, congressional memos and information sheets