Constitutional Amendments and Major Legislation


Amendment/Act Public Law/U.S. Code Main Provisions
Nineteenth Amendment      41 Stat. 362; 41 Stat. 1823Granted women the right to vote in the United States. Approved by the 58th Congress (1919–1921) as H. J. Res. 1 on June 5, 1919; ratified by the states on August 18, 1920. 
Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act P. L. 67-97; 42 Stat. 224Provided for the education of the public about pregnancy and other prenatal issues. Allocated funds for health services for mothers and children, particularly in rural communities. Encouraged states to develop programs to serve women at lower income levels. Approved by the 66th Congress (1919-1921) as S. 1039 on November 23, 1921.
The Equal Pay ActP.L. 88–38; 77 Stat. 56 Declared that no employer subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act could discriminate on the basis of sex in regards to the payment of wages for similar work. Permitted differences in wages based on seniority, merit, and type of work, or other factors. Forbade employers from reducing wages to comply with the act. Approved by the 88th Congress (1963–1965) as S. 1409 on June 10, 1963. 
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights ActP.L. 88–352; 78 Stat. 241 Prohibited employers from discrimination in recruiting, hiring, and advancement based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Approved by the 88th Congress (1963–1965) as H.R. 7152 on July 2, 1964. 
Higher Education Act of 1965 P.L. 89–329; 79 Stat. 1219 Authorized aid to poor and middle–class undergraduates and graduate programs for public school teachers. Authorized a National Teachers Corps to improve elementary and secondary education in impoverished areas. Created grants to improve college libraries, train librarians, and improve instruction in the sciences, humanities, arts, and education. Provided poor women the childcare support to allow them to attend school as well as low-interest loans to pay for a better education. Approved by the 89th Congress (1965–1967) as H.R. 9567 on October 20, 1965. 
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 P.L. 92-318, 86 Stat. 373; 20 U.S.C. sec. 1681–1688 Barred schools receiving federal funding from discrimination based on sex. Precludes qualified institutions from denying participation in and equal benefits to women for any school-related program or activity. In 2002, President George W. Bush signed H.J. Res. 113, posthumously honoring a key author of the original bill by officially renaming the legislation the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Approved by the 92nd Congress (1971–1973) as S. 659 on May 22, 1972. 
Equal Rights AmendmentNever RatifiedProposed constitutional amendment granting women equal protection under the law. Introduced into every session of Congress between 1923 and 1972. Passed Congress on March 22, 1972, as H.J. Res. 208 by the requisite majorities and was sent to the states for ratification. Not ratified by a sufficient number of states despite a three-year extension until 1982 to the constitutionally-mandated seven-year deadline. Reintroduced in every session of Congress since that time.
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 P.L. 103–3; 107 Stat. 6Required businesses with 50 or more employees to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a one-year period to attend to the medical issues of immediate family members. Approved by the 103rd Congress (1993–1995) as H.R. 1 on February 4, 1993.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994P.L.103–322, 108 Stat. 1796 Provided $1.6 billion to support investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, increased pre-trial detention of the accused, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. Included as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Approved by the 103rd Congress (1993–1995) as H.R. 3355 on September 13, 1994.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 P.L. 111–2, 123 Stat. 5Stated that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new discriminatory paycheck and allowed liability to accrue for up to two years preceding the charge. Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Approved by the 111th Congress (2009–2011) as S. 181 on January 7, 2009.
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013P.L. 113–4, 127 Stat. 54Previously reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, this reauthorization extended protection to same-sex couples and Native Americans living on reservations. Approved by the 113th Congress (2013–2015) as S. 47 on February 28, 2013.