Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged
or denied on account of gender.
In recent weeks I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around the theme Equal Means Equal. Though the theme is of longer standing, I believe the local buzz was fanned by the t celebration of Women’s Equality Day on August 26. I must have been distracted by the start of the Great Minnesota Get-Together because, sad to say, I missed the occasion and the opportunity to learn more about this important movement. (http://www.nwhp.org/resources/commemorations/womens-equality-day)
Specifically, I missed the local screening and discussion of Equal Means Equal sponsored by ERA Minnesota at the St. Anthony Main theater. I’ve been trying to catch up ever since. I’ve learned from attendees at the screening that ERA Minnesota not only showed the documentary, but lit the local ERA movement fire by hosting a panel that included powerful state and federal elected officials and leaders of the burgeoning Equal Means Equal movement.
No wonder there’s a buzz….
Just in case others, like me, are not up to speed on the full implication of Equal Means Equal here are some of the basics.
Equal Means Equal is a national campaign to tackle the challenge to (finally) pass the Equal Rights Amendment. The premise is that the need for a Constitutional Amendment must remain a priority.
The term Equal Means Equal is propelled and informed by leaders who have produced both a book and an award-winning documentary film that tell the compelling story:
Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Now is the book, written by Jessica Neuwirth, published in January 2015. The book “tells the story of the legal cases that inform the need for an ERA, along with contemporary cases in which women’s rights are compromised without the protection of an ERA.” Topics covered in the book range from pay equity to violence against women to pregnancy discrimination and other stories that underscore needs that are not yet recognized or remedied..
The companion piece to the book is the documentary by the same name. Directed by Kamala Lopez the film has received numerous awards. The documentary, which features an all-star cast including Patricia Arquette, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal and others, presents real life stories and legal cases that depict the ways in which “outdated and discriminatory attitudes inform and influence seemingly disparate issues, from workplace harassment to domestic violence, rape and sexual assault to the foster care system, and the healthcare conglomerate to the judicial system.” Again, the thesis of the documentary is that present inadequate laws prove the compelling argument for passage of the ERA.
Needless to say, ERA Minnesota (http://www.eramn.org) can provide much more information on the book, the documentary and the Equal Means Equal campaign.
Though I’ve been slow to tune in to the buzz, I get it now and am eager to share the message!