Do you have them? Or don’t you? The French have them. So do the Japanese. And the Cubans. Even the Afghani’s [sic] have them now. But do American women have them?
That’s the question asked by this PSA from the ERA Education Project in the United States. And the answer it gives is “no”.
Of course, modern American women have many equal rights in practise. But their equality was never enshrined in the United States Constitution.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was originally introduced in the 1923, three years after the 19th Amendment granted the vote to American women, but failed to pass. It was re-introduced in 1972, but while it passed both houses of Congress, not enough state legislatures were willing to ratify it. The amendment has been reintroduced in every session of Congress since 1982.
The ERA promises “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” That’s it. But ultra-conservative campaigners like Phyllis Schlafly continue to raise political support to block the ERA because (among other things) it would make women elegible to be drafted into the military.
The PSA itself could have used a bit more polish, especially in post-production. Nonetheless, being told that women in Afghanistan and Cuba have a constitutional guarantee to equal rights that American women do not have is surely a powerful motivator for change. Especially considering the American myth of being the global bastion of liberty.
They also missed a stereotype:
Another PSA after the break.