On Wednesday, June 6th, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, lead House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, gathered with Congresswoman Jackie Speier, actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano, the ERA Coalition, and women's rights advocates including the Feminist Majority Organization  at the U.S. Capitol House Triangle to address the urgent need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Representative Maloney has introduced the ERA in the past 11 Congresses but still there hasn’t been one hearing in the White House of the Senate on this crucial issue since 1984. This devastating fact encouraged Maloney to organize her own hearing with the intention to be heard by the authorities.

Rep. Maloney also hosted a shadow hearing that same day, on the same subject at Rayburn House Office Building, joined by other members, including Rep. Speier. One of the witnesses  giving testimony was Alyssa Milano - famous actress/activists that was the first to use the hashtag MeToo on Social Media, encouraging women to share their own stories. During the events, Milano stated that it’s high time to pass the ERA so that all citizens of US have equal rights and can reach their full potential as individuals without gender labels. Congresswoman Maloney thanked Alyssa Milano for using her powerful voice to shine more light on women’s rights and gender equality.

Carol Robles-Román, the ERA Coalition Co-President and Jessica Lenahan, domestic violence survivor were among other witnesses of the shadow hearing.

The ERA would prohibit denying equal rights under the law by the United States because of sex. The only right that the Constitution explicitly currently guarantees women is the right to vote. For the Equal Rights Amendment to be adopted, it must be ratified by at least 38 states. On May the 30th, Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the ERA.

Each day, we are getting closer to the gender equality ratification and that’s why we all as women need to stay united and persist in the fight for our rights.

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