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The equal rights amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” It is modeled on the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, adopted during Reconstruction, securing “equal protection” and the right to vote regardless of race, as well as the Nineteenth Amendment, adopted in 1920, securing female suffrage. Te n western states—California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming—have a version of the ERA in their state constitutions.

While a movement demanding equality had formed by 1848, when the first Women's Rights Convention produced the renowned “Seneca Falls Declaration,” the ERA's genesis was a 1923 proposal by ...

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