Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment—a proposed constitutional amendment stating that men and women should have equal rights under the law—has inspired recurring debate in the House of Representatives since 1923.

The Honorable Constance A. Morella, U.S. Representative of Maryland Interview recorded June 16, 2015 Transcript (PDF)

Historical Summaries

Martha Griffiths, who autographed this card in 1960, became known as the “Mother of the Equal Rights Amendment.”/tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_griffiths.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Martha Griffiths, who autographed this card in 1960, became known as the “Mother of the Equal Rights Amendment.”
"Legislative Interests"
A contextual essay from Women in Congress outlining the legislative interests of woman lawmakers from 1955 to 1976—including the Equal Rights Amendment.

"Challenging the Institution"
A contextual essay from Women in Congress detailing the ways younger women entering Congress challenged the institution.

Martha Griffiths
A congressional profile about Martha Griffiths’s legislative career—including her fight for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Equal Rights Amendment
A historical highlight about Michigan Representative Martha Griffiths using a discharge petition to bring the Equal Rights Amendment to the House Floor for a vote in 1970.

Primary Sources

Proposing an Equal Rights Amendment
Women’s rights activists, hoping to capitalize on the momentum of the passage of the 19th Amendment, proposed this first iteration of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923.

Representative Martha Griffiths filed this discharge petition to force House Joint Resolution 264 out of the Judiciary Committee and onto to the House Floor for a vote./tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_era-discharge.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
Representative Martha Griffiths filed this discharge petition to force House Joint Resolution 264 out of the Judiciary Committee and onto to the House Floor for a vote.
Defeat Un-Equal Rights Amendment
In these letters, Margaret Austin Stone strongly urges the chairman of the Judiciary Committee to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment.

Pat Kelly and the Equal Rights Act Discharge Petition: Part One and Part Two
Longtime House staffer Pat Kelly describing Representative Martha Griffiths’s parliamentary approach to bring the ERA to the floor.

Discharge Petition for the Equal Rights Amendment
Representative Martha Griffiths filed this discharge petition to force House Joint Resolution 264 out of the Judiciary Committee and onto to the House Floor for a vote.

Winifred Claire Stanley
A staunch advocate for women’s rights, Winifred Claire Stanley was the first Member of Congress to introduce an equal pay for equal work bill.

Daniel Read Anthony Jr.
Appropriations Chairman Daniel Anthony, a nephew of legendary women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony, introduced an Equal Rights Amendment in Congress for the first time in 1923.