UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE REPORTS THE NEED FOR THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
November 06, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2023
Washington, DC –– Today, the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality announced that Carolyn B. Maloney, Equal Rights Amendment champion and former Congresswoman representing New York’s 12th Congressional District, is joining the organizations’ boards as Chair of the Fund for Women’s Equality. Former Congresswoman Maloney joins a diverse array of gender equity and civil rights leaders from across the country serving on the ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality boards.
"When I first came to Congress, I had a list of 10 things I wanted to accomplish. Over the course of my career, I accomplished all of those and more, with one glaring exception: ensuring that the ERA became part of the Constitution,” said Carolyn Maloney, Fund for Women’s Equality board chair. “I started reintroducing the ERA every session and supported efforts to reopen the ratification period. It was my belief that the ERA would never become part of the Constitution unless one organization was focused solely on that cause and I worked to establish one. I am thrilled to join the ERA Coalition and its companion, the Fund for Women’s Equality. I believe women will never gain equality, including equal pay for equal work, without the ERA to protect our rights. It is that simple."
Maloney has spent her entire career working to advance women’s rights. She was first elected to Congress in 1992 during the “Year of the Woman and became the 13th woman in History to chair a congressional committee, first serving as the chair of the Joint Economic Committee as well as the first woman to chair the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
During her tenure in Congress, Maloney authored and passed more than 80 measures, 12 of which had presidential bill signings which are reserved for the most historic and transformational pieces of legislation. Among the measures she was most proud to author and pass were bills designed to improve women’s lives, including legislation to expand Medicare to cover annual mammograms for women, to require colleges and universities to publicize information about their records on sexual violence, to encourage law enforcement to target those who patronize sex trafficking victims and to create the Smithsonian National Women’s Museum on the Washington Mall.
Her Debbie Smith Act provides funding for law enforcement to process DNA evidence collected from rape victims and has been called the most important anti-rape bill Congress ever passed. The story of the bill’s passage was made into a film called A Life Interrupted. Ms. Maloney also secured passage of the nation’s first ever paid parental leave to care for newborn or newly adopted children. She then passed paid family and medical leave for all federal employees and continues to fight for paid leave for all Americans.
“At a time when the opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment are using the levers of government to perpetuate the second-class status of women and gender/sexual minorities in America, enshrining the ERA into the Constitution has never been more urgent,” said Zakiya Thomas, President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality. “Congresswoman Maloney, a champion of equal rights for all who consistently pushed to remove the time limit on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, couldn’t be joining our board as Chair at a more critical time in our 100 year fight for sex equality.”
The ERA Coalition was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has a sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, which promotes public education and outreach on the need for constitutional equality. Composed of more than 280 organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality.
While the effort to amend the constitution to include sex equality began nearly a century ago, our renewed efforts are centered on women of color (African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latina, and Native American), gender-nonconforming and transgender women and girls, and nonbinary people – those who are most impacted by systemic inequities.