Today the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was introduced in the Louisiana Senate by Louisiana State Senator Jean-Paul Morrell. It has been 47 years since the Louisiana Senate has voted in favor of ratifying women’s equality into the U.S. Constitution.

Statement by Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation:

“This is an exciting day for women in Louisiana and across the country who are still not guaranteed equal rights in the U.S. Constitution. We are only one state away from ratifying the ERA, which would make a real impact in the lives of women and girls on everything from education, to workplace protections, to ending violence against women.

“Without the ERA, women have been forced to fight against gender discrimination one law and one court case at a time, only to see far too often those hard fought gains rolled back by new anti-woman legislatures and judicial rulings. Enough is enough. Women and girls deserve a guarantee for equal rights and treatment once and for all.”

Statement by Ashley Sheffield, Louisiana Organizer for the Feminist Majority Foundation:

“As a native Louisianan and Louisiana State University college student, I have immense pride in our state’s culture and in our people. What I do not have pride in is the fact that Louisiana consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to women’s well-being. Louisiana has one of the highest domestic violence homicide rates, has an astronomical gender pay gap, and performs poorly when it comes to women’s healthcare.

“I love Louisiana and I want the state to show that it loves and respects me back. That’s why it’s time for our state to take initiative to end discrimination against women and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

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Contact: Erin Gistaro // egistaro@feminist.org // 703-522-2214