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Equity for Women No. 120

Adopted 1994
Reaffirmed 1995
Amended 1996
Amended 1997
Reaffirmed 1998
Amended 1999
Reaffirmed 2001
Reaffirmed 2002
Revised 2003
Reaffirmed 2004
Amended 2006

The women of the United States have not yet achieved full economic, social, or legal equity, and are still denied the same opportunities available to men. Women should be treated equally in all aspects of American life.

The legislative gains achieved by women are under constant attack and are being modified, eliminated, or rendered ineffective through the lack of enforcement. While several forward-looking states have included Equal Rights Amendments in their state's constitutions, the women and men of our nation do not enjoy equal protection of the law. ADA seeks, and will continue to work for, the passage of a federal Equal Rights Amendment, which is long overdue and will provide a constitutional safeguard for the equal treatment of women under the law. ADA will also continue its efforts for the introduction and passage of state ERAs.

ADA recognizes, however, that a narrowly formulated Equal Rights Amendment will not extend equality to all women. ADA therefore seeks an ERA that explicitly prohibits 1) state action whose effects disparately, or unequally, harm individuals on the basis of gender or sex and 2) state action that either formally or disparately affects individuals on the basis of intersecting statuses of gender/sex and race, and/or national origin, and/or sexuality, and/or disability, and/or poverty.

ADA continues to urge the speedy and full implementation of the UN Plan of Action, adopted at the U.S. Women's Conference in 1977, which calls for fair representation and participation for women in the political process; sharing of family responsibilities; equal education and training, meaningful work and adequate compensation; equal access to economic power and credit; quality child care for all children; affordable, quality, physical and mental health care services throughout the life cycle; adequate housing; just and humane treatment in the criminal justice system, with special emphasis on preventing all forms of violence against women; fair treatment by and equal access to media and the arts; and physical safety and respect for the individual. This plan was affirmed in 1985 at the UN Women's Conference in Nairobi, Kenya and again in Beijing, China in 1995.

ADA pledges to defend Title IX (also known as the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Educational Opportunity Act) against any and all efforts to dilute its prohibition on sex discrimination in education, including athletics. We deplore recent administrative actions of the Bush Administration to weaken Title IX.

ADA calls for the speedy passage, by both national and other government units, of comparable worth (or pay equity) legislation, which guarantees all workers equal pay for work of comparable skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.

ADA believes that the full participation of women in American life requires more women in the decision-making structures of government. We applaud recent efforts to encourage and support greater numbers of women to run for public office, and we urge that political parties and organizations increase their efforts to promote the candidacies and election of women at the federal, state and local levels. Further, we urge government officials at every level to appoint more women to positions of authority.

ADA reaffirms the right of women to self-determination. That right includes the right to decide whether to be pregnant, and thus, the right to obtain birth control information and services, and a right to obtain an abortion if desired. Additionally, self-determination includes the right to social support for children and their caregivers. The right to self-determination also includes the right of a woman to determine her own career and educational activities, which are often affected by pregnancies, by lack of paid family leave, by the lack of childcare, and by the lack of economic recognition for care giving.

ADA urges all political parties to maintain their efforts to make women full participants in the political process by guaranteeing their equal role in all party affairs on both the national and local levels. We applaud those states such as New York and Illinois that have adopted policies to move women into leadership positions, and we urge our members across the country to work in their states for the adoption and strengthening of these policies.

ADA calls on all federal, state and local governments to enforce strictly anti-discrimination and affirmative action laws and regulations.

ADA believes that policies excluding women from combat duty are discriminatory and fail to recognize the equal capabilities that women lend to national security.

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No. 120