The U.S. Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment 43 years ago on March 22nd, 1972. The purpose of the ERA was for the U.S. constitution to ensure the equality of the sexes by outlawing discrimination based on sex. The ERA fell three states short of receiving the necessary ratification by 38 states (and later 5 states rescinded their ratification).
Initially written by a suffragette in 1923, the ERA is now part of 30 state legislatures and has been used to further the rights of many citizens, to include helping legalize same-sex marriage. Thus, the legacy of the ERA continues to fight for women's equality today.
First proposed by the National Woman’s political party in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was to provide for the legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. More than four decades later, the revival of feminism in the late 1960s spurred its introduction into Congress. Under the leadership of U.S. Representative Bella Abzug of New York and feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, it won the requisite two-thirds vote from the U.S. House of Representatives in October 1971. In March 1972, it was approved by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states.