What is Empowerment?

By Lauriane Lebrun Empowerment.  From “empower” (em-pou-er). “1) To give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means. 2) To enable or permit.” I have been thinking about this word a lot.  As one will find in the design plans for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, “empowerment” is set to be the memorial theme.  […]


Rumors of our Equality Are Greatly Exaggerated!

NOW (and hosts of women’s rights organizations) will be well represented at the 50th Anniversary March, and NOW President Terry O’Neill will be speaking about the Equal Rights Amendment. This is it here:


The Equal Rights Amendment is simple, clear, and inalienable!!

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”

It’s been 90 years since Alice Paul wrote this simple text in 1923. It is just time, people. But time will drag on if we don’t act!

92% of Americans think that women have equality under the law. They are mistaken. The only right actually secured for women in the Constitution is the right to vote.

Everything else: right to own property, right to custody of our children, right to healthcare, right to work, right to have our own bank account and lines of credit, right to equal pay, right to fight in the military, right to autonomy over our own bodies in any way, to education, to purchase sex toys, to fill-in-the-blank are made right now by a patch work of court decisions, and statues in laws that are not permanent amendments to the Constitution. These ‘privileges’ are alienable, they can be taken away. The ERA would convert them legally, federally, into inalienable rights.

At present these “privileges” and this”equality” are just gifts from the courts and legislatures, and those gifts can be taken away or curbed (as in over-regulation of health clinics that makes access to abortion services very, very difficult or impossible; as in voting rights restrictions; as in not having a law that just says you get paid equally to a man in your position or the federal government will come after your employer). Fighting, over and over, to secure the same rights, often state by state, endlessly is not liberty. Battle is not liberty. Battle does not allow the greatest expression and implementation of the people’s intellect and skill for their own and the nation’s benefit. Battle just drains energy. As we have seen just this year in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, and Texas — we can fight like hell, and we can lose our battle for dignity, even for our lives.

The ERA would put an end to that battle. This is battle is won and decided in most of the developed world, and decided for women. Moreover, the ERA would only strengthen the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by extending its full protections to women of color, as women. It would benefit the LGBTQIA communities by assuring that these women are also fully recognized as persons with inalienable rights. The same forces that resist the ERA refuse to ratify CEDAW, and that leaves American women and international women in America vulnerable.

Virginia NOW has recently been working on getting the ERA through the Virginia Legislature, but the state House will not schedule a vote even though the state Senate has voted to ratify two times!! Lots of information and tips on action can be found at Virginia ERA and Equal Rights Amendment.

We need you to lend your words and work to this effort. You can sign this petition to Congress to lift the deadline on ratification: (click here). You can read the White House’s response to the petition on their website: (click here). It’s positive, it’s supportive, it’s lots of things but it is not pro-active. We feel the White House needs a little encouragement. So do this: 

  • Write to the White House, and tell them that you’re glad to have Fair Pay and Title IX and so forth, but these laws are not civil rights amendments and they can be changed, or overturned at any time. Only a ratified constitutional amendment would truly secure these rights for all women.
  • Write to your federal representatives and to your state representatives (see bottom of page), and tell them that you’ll support them if they support you–ratification and/or removal of the deadline for ratification is the form this support should take.
  •  Visit Equal Rights Amendment dot Org for complete details and suggestions for getting your boots on the ground! Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, I am talking to you!!!. If you live in these 15 states, go kick some ratification butt!!! We only need 3 out of 15.

Below, NOW’s resolution in favor of the ERA Amendment & CEDAW. (We are one of only a few nations not to sign on. That distinguished cadre includes: United States, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and two small Pacific Island nations [Palau and Tonga]). For the full complement of NOW Resolutions (click here). 



WHEREAS, constitutional equality for women is a core issue for the National Organization for Women (NOW) and discrimination based on sex is a violation of human rights; and

WHEREAS, NOW is supporting both the 3-state strategy and a Congressional strategy to begin anew on an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); and

WHEREAS, Congressional leaders for women’s equality believe it is necessary to support both strategies; and

WHEREAS, both methods provide unique advantages; and

WHEREAS, NOW continues to support ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, The Women’s Treaty) by the U.S. Senate;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirms that we continue to work on several strategies that educate the public about the need to win constitutional equality for women; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW create an “ERA Educate to Advocate Campaign” and actively pursue opportunities to obtain media attention to bring the movement to ratify the ERA and CEDAW (The Women’s Treaty) into the national conversation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we recommend to the NOW/PAC and the state and local PACs that they score candidates on their support for an ERA on the 3-state strategy, a Congressional strategy to begin anew on an Equal Rights Amendment, and CEDAW (The Women’s Treaty), in considering whether or not to endorse a political candidate.

So, tell me. Do you want to have a dream, or do you want to live that dream?


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Diana Egozcue
, President

Paradise Kendra, Communications VP/Webmistress
Simone Roberts, Historian/ERA Coordinator

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