The Necessity of Equal Rights

Landis Lain

By Landis Lain

The 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress on March 22, 1972. It was sent to the states for ratification. To be added to the Constitution, it needed approval by legislatures in threefourths (38) of the 50 states. On January 15, 2020, Virginia became the 38th State to ratify the amendment. The states which have not ratified are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah. It is time for our country to ratify this amendment and make it a part of our constitution.

In 1990, only 32.5 percent households were headed by women. Over the next three decades, the share of households headed by women increased 17 percentage points, and by 2019, households headed by women accounted for half of all households. This trend holds across all racial and ethnic groups, with Black households having the highest share of households headed by women (60 percent).

Most women have at least equal responsibilities. Women are more than 50% of the USA population, and where more than half of American women are primary bread winners, there is somehow still a raging debate on whether women should have equal rights. A lack of equal rights makes it easier for those in power to steal from us. The average income for women in 2019 was $52,521 compared to $84,006 for men. Average income for Caucasian and Asian American women were nearly twice the average for Black women and 44% higher than the average Latina woman. Women should be compensated for carrying this load.

A necessity is something that one cannot live without. Equal Rights are necessary. If women do not have a right to be paid equally for our labor or to restitution, then this country will continue to systemically steal from us for generations to come just like it has stolen from Black people, women, and people of color for centuries. If one lacks a fundamental legal right, one often lacks recourse to the legal system or economic advantages. A luxury item is something that enhances life but is not extended by everyone. Women in this country currently have the luxury to work ourselves to death without fair compensation.

Equal Rights are necessary for everyone. It’s too easy to destroy rights that aren’t constitutional. The argument is that women have been living without equal rights since the inception of this country and yet have made incredible strides without it. I call absolute cow manure on such an attitude. Uncompensated labor is slavery. That has been abolished by the 13th Amendment. It is time for congress to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Right NOW. We should not have to live without it.