This amendment provides fundamental protection and will raise the standard of respect for women across the nation. If we say we value women, then we must put women in our most sacred document, the U.S. Constitution. Rep. Karen Kwan’s Bill HJR 021, unanimously passed the Utah Legislature in 2019, reaffirming the value of women. This bill had bi-partisan support. Equality is not a partisan issue. Both major political parties listed the ERA on their platforms until the 1980s.
Kwan also ran HB 007 in 2020, a bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Utah, but the bill was not allowed out of Rules Committee for the second year. Utah women remain undaunted, and they have terrific allies in this effort. Senator Pat Spearman (pictured at the Equality Utah’s PAC Brunch 2020) ran and ratified the Equal Rights Amendment in Nevada in 2017, reviving a century-long push for women’s equality. Illinois and Virginia followed in 2018 and 2020. A veteran, a woman of color, and a gay woman, Senator Spearman jokes that “equality might as well be my middle name.” She describes that “there’s not any part of me that I can bring to the conversation that has not experienced discrimination…discrimination in life, discrimination in the military, discrimination, even in church.” Her life’s work is to ensure that all women have access to fundamental rights and equality under the law. Senator Spearman believes we are all called to this work, saying “we are made for this time.” Read more about her extraordinary journey for equality here.
Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), The United States requires new democratic nations to write equality of men and women into their constitutions, but not our own. https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/