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Equal Rights Amendment gets push on Women's Equality Day

The new Equal Rights Amendment, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney earlier this month, would explicitly mandate equal rights for women under the law.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney has re-introduced a bill in Congress that would definitively guarantee equal rights for women.  Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images Rep. Carolyn Maloney has reintroduced a bill in Congress that would definitively guarantee equal rights for women.
Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Joined by other female politicians and women leaders from New York, Rep. Carolyn Maloney discussed a bill Monday that would put women in the Constitution for the first time.

The new Equal Rights Amendment, introduced by Maloney earlier this month, would explicitly mandate equal rights for women under the law.

"While we've come a long way, gender discrimination continues to be a significant hurdle for women in insurance, employment, family law and other areas," Maloney said in a statement.

Maloney, a Democrat, has introduced variations of the bill nine times since 1997 — in every Congress. The last variation had 186 co-sponsors but never made it out of committee.

The new bill has 94 co-sponsors, including three Republicans.

Maloney touted the bill on Women's Equality Day, marking the 93rd anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees a citizen's right to vote no matter their sex.

Maloney was joined by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who the congresswoman endorsed in New York City's mayoral race, along with other female council members.

Quinn and other council members said that the new bill is important despite huge strides since the 19th Amendment.

Upper West Side Council Member Gale Brewer said the constitution, as well as "unwritten" customs have to change.

"As women, we know a lot about the unwritten law. It has stood between us and equality since ancient time," Brewer said in a statement.

New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, one of many male sponsors of the bill, said that gender inequality was an "embarrassment."

"The lack of the ERA will continue to undermine our standing as a nation that's truly committed to freedom and equality for all," Nadler said in a statement.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders

 
 
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