On Wednesday, the Virginia state legislature approved the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Thus, becoming the long-awaited 38th state to ratify the amendment and ending an almost century-long struggle to end the discrimination based on sex.
The state legislature, which comprises of the House of Delegates and Senate, is entirely controlled by the Democrats after a historic win in the 2019 state elections.
The resolution was approved by a vote of 59-41 and 28-12 in the House of Delegates and Senate, respectively.
On the other hand, the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment needs approval from either house of Virginia state legislature to undergo the final passage of the amendment.
As per the parliamentary rules, each House needs to approve the other House’s version of the resolution, even if the version is same. However, considering the current scenario, the critics have termed the approval, a mere formality.
Speaking about the same, Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar said that the Senate might vote on the resolution passed by the House resolution as earliest on Monday.
Equal Rights Amendment has come a long way since its introduction in December 1923.
Moreover, the resolution to ratify the ERA will create ample opportunities for the female Middle Eastern expatriates in comparison to their male counterparts, expatriates from other countries, and the Americans as well.
The prime reason for the political analysts to believe as such is because Virginia is one of the ten states in the entire country that houses two-thirds of the 10 million Middle Eastern Americans.
There is no doubt that the approval of resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment is a historic decision.
Yet, the delay raises a question if the US lawmakers consider gender disparity in terms of pay, job roles, remuneration, and other facilities, a serious issue.
Additionally, the state governments delaying the approval of the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment since the Congress adopted it in 1972 have aided the US in gaining points as per the efforts to achieve gender parity.
As per the sources, only six European countries, Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden achieved 100 percent gender parity in the past decade.
Furthermore, many Asian and Middle Eastern countries have begun enacting the laws and policies that aim to reduce gender disparity.
For a long time, women have struggled to leave the discrimination based on gender behind and have equal opportunities and gender parity.
Therefore, the approval of the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment from Virginia state legislature to end the discrimination against women has come at the right time and might even make the US, a source of inspiration for other countries so that they follow the former on the same path.