The fight for equal rights in the United States has a rich history of advocacy and activism by both women and men who believe in constitutionally protected gender equality.
From the first visible public demand for women’s suffrage in 1848 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott at the first Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York to the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment by Alice Paul in 1923, the fight for gender equality is not over.
In her remarks as she introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in Seneca Falls in 1923, Alice Paul sounded a call that has great poignancy and significance over 80 years later:
"If we keep on this way they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are…If we had not concentrated on the Federal Amendment we should be working today for suffrage…We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government."
As supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment lobbied, marched, rallied, petitioned, picketed, went on hunger strikes, and committed acts of civil disobedience between 1972 and 1982, it is probable that many of them were not aware of their place in the long historical continuum of women's struggle for constitutional equality in the United States. From the very beginning, the inequality of men and women under the Constitution has been an issue for advocacy.
Check out the video and links below to learn more about this history of women’s fight for legal gender equality in the United States.
For more information about Alice Paul, visit www.AlicePaul.org.