November 21, 1983 · Cavalier Daily

ERA: End to Discrimination Against Women

This letter to the editor supports the Equal Rights Amendment, on the grounds that it will help to reduce employment and workplace discrimination against women, and thereby lower the percentage of women living below the poverty line.


1983-11-21 Cavalier Daily ERA End to Discrimination Against Women.pdf
Michele Garstang
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
ERA: End to Discrimination Against Women
With the Equal Rights Amendment again being discussed in Congress, I feel it is appropriate for students and faculty to re-examine their commitment or opposition to this proposed change to our constitution. I feel that the need for the ERA is as acute today as it was when the amendment passed Congress in 1972.
Today, 60 years after it was first introduced, there is a recognized women’s vote and a national majority for the ERA. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who know the ERA is a litmus test for gauging their support of women’s issues, are expected to vote on the measure before Thanksgiving.
Today’s ERA drive is focused on bread and butter issues. The reason poverty is increasingly both a woman’s problem and an economic issue that could affect almost any woman at some point in her lifetime.
In the past two decades, the number of persons in poor families headed by women rose 54 percent. Thirty-six percent of families headed by women had incomes below the poverty line in 1982. For families headed by minority women, the situation is even worse: 47 percent of black families are headed by women and two-thirds of them live in poverty.
Coupled with the fact that when separation occurs between a husband and wife, the wife’s income decreases by approximately 73 percent on the average, while the husband’s goes up by 42 percent, poverty for women is not a distant possibility.
Of course, the ERA cannot change the face of poverty overnight. But it can end a majority factor that fosters its hold on women: discrimination.
The root causes of women’s economic disadvantages are numerous and pervade all aspects of our nation’s public policy. They are the result of an historical attitude that women are second-class citizens, relegated to a supporting role and subject to rules and institutions designed by men to meet the needs of men.
Only a Constitutional amendment can guarantee women protection against the many faces of discrimination job segregation, hiring and promotion bias, pay inequities, sex-stereotyping in the classroom which tracks young girls and women into low-paying jobs, and sex-segregated enrollment in vocational education courses, which can have a major impact on women’s future earning capacity.
At the present time, women earn 59 cents for every dollar white males make. These are the issues which make the ERA necessary.
Under the new law, women would be protected against discrimination and would have the backing of the amendment to take discrimination claims to court. No longer will anti-discrimination laws be blatantly disregarded.
As students who will sooner or later enter this biased and unfair working world, we must get involved now, so there will be no need to suffer later.
The Equal Rights Amendment: “(Section 1) Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. (Section 2) The Congress shall have the power to enforce by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article (Section 3) This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”
Michele Garstang
Tags , ,
Date Added July 19, 2016
Date Modifed December 12, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

Item Relations

This item has no relations.