How ERA is good for the economy
Secretary at Work Marty Walsh said a strong and fair recovery depends on women returning to the workforce. More … than 4.6 million women have left the labor market during the coronavirus pandemic, black and Latin women being disproportionately affected by this devastating job loss. Women’s jobs are almost twice as likely to be lost during what has been called a “women’s assignment”.
Women have been catching up in the economy from the start. We were intentionally excluded from the Constitution. The “equal justice before the law” project was written by the founding fathers (there were no mothers) for white men with financial means. The story records the only thought given to women, although white women, was by Abigail Adams, who wrote to her husband, “Please remember the ladies.”
They did not do it.
As Congress and the White House return to the economic path of the pandemic, it is time to correct the fundamental flaw in the Constitution that has left women in all our diversity outside the nation’s founding document.
No matter how we can disagree on politics, we are truly at a loss if we can no longer depend on human momentum towards decency, fairness and justice. Business leaders understand this, and that is why they are increasingly defending these values, not because they want to score political points, but because their customers demand it. Corporate America also understands that gender equality isn’t just good for business; it is vital. In June 2020, 93 companies from all economic backgrounds signed an amicus file in Virginia, expressing their support for the ERA. Brands like Apple, Google, the NFL, Salesforce and Pfizer signed the brief because “diversity in the workplace drives business performance.”
Nasdaq seeks regulatory clearance to require various boards of directors and related information on publicly traded companies. Bloomberg created the Gender-Equality Index (GEI) to monitor the “performance of public enterprises committed to disclosing their efforts to support gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency”. Unilever set a target in 2010 for 50% of management positions to be represented by women.
Women are the backbone of our economy, and their contributions cannot be underestimated; women are responsible for 70-80% of consumer behavior and contribute trillions of dollars to the economy. Women start businesses at higher rates than men and are often the only, leading or co-support in their households. In 2019, women held 51.8 percent of all management and related functions. But despite the enormous role women play in American society, family life, and the economy, women are still not recognized as fully equal in the eyes of the U.S. Constitution.
The ERA will create a permanent, uniform, national standard to prevent the government from discriminating on the basis of sex and would empower Congress to enforce gender equity through legislation. Without this guarantee, laws promoting women’s economic participation, such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, can be repealed by a simple majority vote in Congress.
As Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyWray suggests limits on FBI social media to follow ‘lesson learned’ after Jan 6 Trump allies pressured the Justice Department to support election demands, documents say Hillicon Valley: House targets tech giants with antitrust bills chairman of JBS press monitoring for payment to hackers | spokesperson joins tech company | YouTube suspends Senator GOP MORE (DN.A.) remind us, “A constitutional amendment is eternal. It cannot be revoked, canceled or expire. It is not subject to the whims of whoever controls Congress, a state house, or the White House. “
We have made progress in rejecting some of the paternalistic and discriminatory foundations of our society and our economy, but not enough. The United States is not even among the world’s top 60 economies (out of 131 in total) on the World Bank Index inclusion through legal gender protection, behind countries like Ecuador, Albania, Colombia, Togo and Hong Kong. And we are among the 24% of countries that do not have constitutional protection for gender equity.
Are we not better than that? We have to be. We cannot build a fair and productive economy when 51% of the workforce is left behind.
We want and must live in a society that respects all of its citizens, not just the privileged few. There can be no expiration date on the tie. Pass SJ Res 1.
Carol Jenkins is President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Women’s Equality Fund, and Christian F. Nunes is President of the National Organization for Women (NOW).