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Tuesday, 25 February 2014 01:00

Will Virginia be the First State to Ratify Equal Rights Amendment in the 21st Century?

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Today SJ 78, a bill to ratify the stalled Equal Rights Amendment, was placed on the docket of the Elections subcommittee in the Virginia House. Could this signal GOP support for Constitutional pay equity? Even in the 21st century corporations continue to pay women less because they are women. Last week we learned that General Motors offered their first female CEO a salary 50% less than her male predecessors (the usual female pay discount is only 8%).

Since there are no gender discounts for rent, tuition, groceries or any of the myriad things that women purchase, the salary differential is not only unfair, it doesn't make good consumer sense.

At 52% the state of Alabama has the highest concentration of women of any state; Alaska is the lowest at 48%. If we lower the wages, we lower the purchasing power and that simply isn't good for any community.

The Virginia General Assembly has been looking for an opportunity to demonstrate that they are not hostile to women. On February 4th SJ 78 easily passed in the Senate; however the companion bill HJ 12 was never docketed. It now looks like that has changed. On Thursday SJ 78 will be heard in the Elections subcommittee. If passed, the bill will advance to the full Privileges and Elections Committee. Assuming the bill is reported out of committee and advances to the floor and passes, Virginia would have a positive first in its often tempestuous relationship with women.

The Equal Rights Amendment would provide blanket protection to women for all time. The ERA gives teeth to laws like Lily Ledbetter by writing into the Constitution that discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited and now subject to strict judicial standards.

Read 4055 times Last modified on Friday, 28 March 2014 15:32
Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller was the Democratic Nominee in 2008 for House of Representatives in the Virginia 4th District. Prior to running for office, Andrea was a part of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, first as Statewide Coordinator for Virginia and subsequently as Regional Coordinator. From 2006 until leading the VA Kucinich campaign Andrea was MoveOn.org’s Regional Coordinator for Central, Southwest and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia and West Virginia. Andrea is also the PDA Virginia co-chair as well as the Technical Director. Andrea co-hosts, organizes and programs PDA's Blog Talk Radio show. She is also the lead designer and production team leader for PDA's websites and printed materials. Andrea co-directs PDA's Capitol Hill letter drops and Hill meetings.

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