Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely AAUW branch rallies for ERA passage

Keith Vandervort
Posted 3/14/19

ELY - The American Association of University Women, Ely Branch, has joined with ERA MN to push for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the state constitution.

Four Ely women, representing …

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Ely AAUW branch rallies for ERA passage

Posted

ELY - The American Association of University Women, Ely Branch, has joined with ERA MN to push for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the state constitution.

Four Ely women, representing AAUW, traveled to the state capital on International Women’s Day last Friday to join in the ERA rally and to lobby legislators with a goal to get an equal rights amendment on the Minnesota ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 ,statewide election.  ​

The amendment reads: “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender.” The bill has passed the House, but is being held up in the GOP-led state Senate.

Caroline Owens, AAUW public policy chair, who attended the rally along with members Linda Sutton, Kay Vandervort, and Autumn Cole, said, “Most people assume equal rights is already the law of the land and there are a variety of non-discrimination laws already on the books. However, without codifying equal rights in the constitution, there is no real mechanism to ensure equal rights for all.”

The AAUW’s work on equal rights is part of an overall campaign for equality that includes pay equity activities. Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District has made strides over the last year in promoting equal work for equal pay. The district has moved from the bottom in the state to fifth in pay equity.

Locally, 86 businesses have signed an affirmation of their support for equal pay for equal work, according to Owens. That number is up from 50 businesses who signed the affirmation in 2018.

For residents interested in more information on equal rights and the pay equity campaign, representatives of ERA MN will present a program at Tuesday Group on April 2, and at Rotary Club on April 3.

ERA MN will join AAUW-Ely Branch, for presentations at Unhappy Hour on Tuesday, April 2 at Northern Grounds from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Northern Grounds is discounting selected beverages 21.5 percent that day, the average loss in wages women encounter due to wage discrimination.

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