In 1971, Pennsylvania became the first state to amend its constitution to include an Equal Rights Amendment: “[E]quality of rights under the law shall not be abridged in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because of the sex of the individual.”
Join us to learn how the ERA has impacted many aspects of life in the Commonwealth.
- Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project, will interview equal rights advocates Eleanor Smeal (National Organization for Women) and Alma Fox (NAACP) to reflect how their advocacy in 1971 galvanized support for the passage of the PA ERA. We will recognize former state Rep. Gerald Kaufman, who had the vision to introduce the ERA in the Pennsylvania Legislature.
- Terry Fromson, managing attorney of the Women’s Law Project, will interview Ann Freedman, associate professor of law at Rutgers Law School - Camden, and Barbara Brown, senior partner at the Washington, D.C. firm Paul Hastings, who, as graduates of Yale Law School, came to Philadelphia to advocate for women’s rights. They founded the Women’s Law Project in 1974 and used the PA ERA as a tool for equal rights.
- Public interest attorney Lynn Marks will interview Judge Phyllis Beck (ret.) regarding her scholarship about the first decades of the PA ERA.
- Women's Law Project staff attorney and director of policy & advocacy Amal Bass will moderate a panel of experienced litigators to explore how the ERA was able to help so many through litigation. Rita Bernstein, former attorney at the Women’s Law Project, and Michele Hangley, shareholder, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, will discuss the litigation that led to the opening of male-only Central High School and Girard College to women. David Cohen, professor of law at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law, will discuss pregnancy discrimination under the PA ERA.
The Women's Rights Committee is happy to have worked in collaboration with the Women's Law Project and to co-sponsor this event with the Women in the Profession Committee.
The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Advance registration is required through the Philadelphia Bar Association website and registration closes 30 minutes prior to the meeting start time. You will receive the link to join the video conference immediately after registration closes.