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Statement on the House of Representatives Passage of House Joint Resolution 17

March 17, 2021

Today, an historic number of women in Congress in a bipartisan vote—under the leadership of our historic Speaker—expressed their support for a principle in which I also deeply believe: that in the United States of America, no one's rights should be denied on account of their sex.

When Congress first sent the Equal Rights Amendment to the States for ratification, I was a 29-year-old first-time Senate candidate. As a young Senator, as now, it was a simple proposition for me—fighting for the ERA was about fighting for the dignity of women, and for the dignity of our Nation. Nearly 50 years later, it is long past time that we enshrine the principle of gender equality in our Constitution.

Gender equality is not only a moral issue. The full participation of women and girls across all aspects of our society is essential to our economic prosperity, our security, and the health of our democracy. This is especially critical right now, as the collision of a public health crisis, economic crisis, and caregiving crisis has erased decades of women's economic gains and pushed more women out of the American workforce than we've seen in more than 30 years.

Now is the time for us to recommit ourselves to tearing down the systemic barriers that continue to fuel gender disparities and limit opportunity for half of the American people.

NOTE: The statement referred to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the House of Representatives Passage of House Joint Resolution 17 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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