Viewpoint

The ERA makes a comeback in N.C.

From an editorial Tuesday in the Fayetteville Observer:

The struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution died in 1982. Or maybe it didn’t.

Efforts to add male-female equality to the Constitution appear to be coming back to life. In Raleigh, women appeared in the Legislative Building last week, carrying “ERA YES” signs outside the office of the chairman of a House judiciary committee. That panel has been holding onto an ERA ratification bill for more than a month.

One of the campaigners was Fayetteville resident Roberta Waddle, a former state president of the National Organization for Women. She was in the building in 1982 when lawmakers blocked passage of the amendment – much, it appears, as they will do again this year. Last week, she was accompanied by Marena Groll, coordinator of North Carolina4ERA.

It’s unclear whether efforts to revive the ERA will succeed, or what is the legal path the drive will take, since the deadline for passage was 33 years ago.

But no matter how the effort goes, it will be valuable for the discussion it will create. In many key measures – salaries and political office among them – women still take a back seat to men. Awareness is an important part of the solution.

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