Meryl Streep Asks Congress to Revive Equal Rights Amendment

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

On Tuesday, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep personally asked members of Congress to finally stand behind the Equal Rights Amendment, according to E! News.

Shortly after the passing of the 19th Amendment affirming women’s right to vote in 1920, suffragist Alice Paul pushed for the ratification of the ERA, which aimed to secure equal rights for both men and women throughout the United States and every place subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

The Amendment was introduced to Congress every year from 1923 onwards but failed to pass until 1972, when it was sent to the states for ratification.

After facing years of opposition from organized labor and other groups, including a large number of women, the amendment died in June of 1982.

Since being reintroduced later that same year, the ERA has been seen before every congressional session, and Streep is hoping to find support by contacting lawmakers.

The 66-year-old actress and feminist sent a packet to each member of Congress Tueday, which included a personally written letter and a copy of ERA Coalition head Jessica Neuwirth’s book, Equal Means Equal.

In her letter, Streep explains, “I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality – for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself – by actively supporting the equal rights amendment,” according to E!.

She also writes: “A whole new generation of women and girls are talking about equality – equal pay, equal protection from sexual assault, equal rights.”

Neuwirth, who previously worked for Amnesty International, is one of the founders and the honorary president of Equality Now.


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