Proposed Guarantee of Equality for Women
Long Delay to Action on Equal Rights Amendment
THE Equal Rights Amendment, now awaiting floor action in Congress, would give American women a constitutional guarantee of legal equality with American men. It is the first constitutional amendment to be favorably reported by the Judiciary committees of both houses since adoption of the Repeal Amendment in 1933.
The Equal Rights Amendment has been offered in every Congress since 1923 when it was first introduced by Senator (later Vice President) Curtis. The Senate Judiciary Committee now recommends its addition to the federal Constitution “to complete the movement for the equality of women begun by the Suffrage Amendment.”
Impending Struggle in House and Senate
The Woman Suffrage Amendment was approved by both houses at the close of World War I after having been before Congress for more than 45 years. Committee reports on the Equal Rights Amendment show that a strong influence in its favor has been the contribution to the war effort made by women during World War II.
The amendment carries the endorsement of President Truman and is backed by planks in the 1944 platforms of both major parties. Nevertheless, it will meet strong opposition when called up in the House and Senate for two-thirds votes to send it to the states. The division in Congress cuts across party lines and bears little relation to the usual liberal-conservative pattern. Outside of Congress the opinion of women's groups is sharply divided, and organized labor has been campaigning against the amendment for more than 20 years.