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Episode 12: A New Era for the ERA

Surveys show that around 90 percent of Americans support an Equal Rights Amendment—and yet, still, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee equal rights for women. On this month's episode, we explore the history of this amendment, from its roots as a feminist cause in the 1920s, to the failed attempts to pass the amendment in the 1970s, to the renewed efforts to revive the ERA today. We speak to activist and former NOW president Ellie Smeal about how cultural conservatism and anti-feminist activists helped defeat the amendment in the 1970s, and explore whether the fight for the ERA is still vital in today's America.

Released March 15, 2017
  • March to Support the Equal Rights Amendment, New York City, 1976.

    Copyright © Diana Mara Henry/dianamarahenry.com

  • President Jimmy Carter signs an extension to the Equal Rights Amendment in 1978.

  • Virginia-based organization Women-Matter advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment.

  • Activists march in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in Chicago, 1978, in this Chicago Sun-Times file photo.

  • A pro-Equal Rights Amendment rally in 2014 in Carson City. Photo credit Joyce Hollister.

  • An April 2015 rally in Nevada for the Equal Rights Amendment. Photo credit Ron Newton.

  • March to Support the Equal Rights Amendment, New York City, 1976, by Diana Mara Henry
  • Jimmy Carter Signs Equal Rights Amendment Extension
  • Local Group Women-Matter Agitates for the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Activists March for the ERA in Chicago
  • A Pro-Equal Rights Amendment Rally
  • A Nevada Rally for the Equal Rights Amendment

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Episode 12: A New Era for the ERA." (Viewed on December 8, 2019) <https://jwa.org/podcasts/canwetalk/new-era-for-era>.

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