Wearing White, Working for Women’s Rights
The U.S. House of Representatives advanced two important measures yesterday that will have a profound impact on American women AND men: (1) a resolution to remove the ratification deadline of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), H.J.Res. 17; and (2): the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, H.R. 1620.
Kicking off consideration, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) was appointed Speaker Pro Tempore for debate on H.J.Res. 17. If enacted into law, the measure would eliminate the arbitrary 1979 deadline to ratify the ERA. The proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. In the decades since, Congress has passed several joint resolutions to modify the original timeframe, but H.J.Res. 17 would completely eliminate the requirement.
Heralding the historic vote on H.J.Res. 17, Beatty said, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are key to our democracy. If human rights and democracy don’t have an expiration date, why should the Equal Rights Amendment?”
Later in the afternoon, a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The landmark legislation would extend and expand a whole host of highly successful initiatives and programs that address domestic violence, ensure justice, and empower survivors. Wearing white in solidarity with her congressional colleagues, Beatty released a short video prior to the vote calling on the Senate to follow the House’s lead and get the bill quickly to the president’s desk. “I am a proud cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act,” she said, “and I join President Biden in stating that ‘violence against women is the ugliest form of violence there is.’” An archived recording of Beatty’s call to action can be viewed on YouTube.