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The majority of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution should include equal rights for men and women. Most believe that it already does. However, the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination against women.

That’s why the suffragettes fought for the 19th Amendment. Shortly after that victory, the fight for an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution began, and it continues to this day.

The Equal Rights Amendment would add to the Constitution the requirement that: “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 ERA is an unratified amendment to the U.S. Constitution that passed in Congress in 1972. After its approval, the ERA was sent to the states to ratify, needing 38 states for ratifications. The vote fell short — 35 states ratified this amendment.

Today, courts continue to deny women justice for pay discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and gender-based violence.

The documentary “Equal Means Equal” examines how women are treated in the United States today. Examining both real-life stories and precedent-setting legal cases, the film uncovers how outdated and discriminatory attitudes influence a wide range of issues, pointing to the urgency of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Franciscan Peace Center will host a free screening of “Equal Means Equal” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. 

Laura Anderson


Editor's note: Anderson is marketing director, Franciscan Peace Center