All men (what about women?) are created equal: questioning our democracy this Fourth of July
Millennials and GenZ need to know that women do not yet have equal rights in the Constitution.
We are dedicating this Independence Day to raising awareness that women are not guaranteed equal rights in the Constitution. As the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.” This is a shock to most as 80% of Americans assume that the we already have equal rights. Gender equality is just so fundamental to our Democracy, and to the way we live today, that we take for granted that the United States at least says that we are equal in the law.
June 30, 2017 marks the 35th anniversary of the deadline to pass the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment, which seeks to enshrine equality in the Constitution. That means that everyone under 35 today was born after the deadline. Too few young people are aware that gender equality is not a part of our most important legal document. We need to re-introduce this issue to the new generation so that they can take up the mantle and protect themselves now and into the future.
What is the ERA?
First proposed in Congress in 1923, the ERA is the only way to provide legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. In 1982, it fell three states short of the 38 needed for ratification. It remains the only clear-cut way to protect against all legal gender-based discrimination in the US, and is supported by 94% of Americans (source).
The lack of ERA has a profound impact on women’s lives. It affects:
- the gender pay gap
- pregnancy discrimination + maternity rights
- legal treatment in domestic violence, rape & sexual assault legal cases
- healthcare and reproductive rights
- international women’s rights
Shared Mission: # passtheERA
That’s why we are working with a creative collective on a digital effort, #PasstheERA. The goal is to provide Millennials and Gen Z with digital assets and tools so that they can create their own conversation and action around this issue.
We are proud to have convened an amazing group of passionate advertising, technology and entertainment creatives that are contributing to this growing body of assets to drive this conversation. #PasstheERA is a great example of enso’s Shared Mission philosophy. We were able to bring together top talent to collaborate for the #PasstheERA effort because the task at hand is big, it impacts everyone and is almost universally agreed on.
Why should I care?
Gender equality is a basic foundation for our Democracy. In this historic time of national political debate, this is an issue that everyone agrees on. What kind of Democracy won’t codify this in our highest legal document? We also can’t take for granted that the protections that are afforded to us now in the law will not be rolled back by current or future elected officials.
How can I help?
Help stoke a new national conversation today by sharing one of the assets in the gallery at PasstheERA.co — there is a range of styles from serious to funny — or by contacting your Congressperson (tools here).
To equality and independence!