The Equal Rights Amendment means that it is illegal to discriminate against people based on gender.

In the 1970s,  when the ERA came up for votes, not enough states had  ratified it – 38 states must ratify it before it can become an amendment. Currently, 37 states have ratified the ERA.

Many people think that Virginia will be the state to ratify the ERA because there is already something similar to it in the state constitution. This is a very big deal!

One reason why passing the ERA is a good idea is because it would make unequal pay illegal. Also, according to The Institute For Women's Policy Research, "Providing equal pay to women would have a dramatic impact on their families. The poverty rate for all working women would be cut in half, falling from 8.0 percent to 3.8 percent. The very high poverty rate for working single mothers would fall by nearly half, from 28.9 percent to 14.5 percent."

Not only would this benefit women, but it would also benefit their children.

Another very important reason for the passing of the ERA is sexual abuse. Men in power often will offer women advancement in their career in exchange for sex. Women who experience this often keep quiet, but if the ERA is passed, women would be able to speak up and defend themselves. This will, hopefully, make men less likely to sexually abuse women in the workforce, for fear that they would go to jail. Women will advance in their career without men taking advantage of them in the process. This is beneficial for a healthy work environment.

Hopefully, the ERA will get passed because it is clearly crucial for women in all aspects of their lives. 

Samantha Gaylor, Stephens City