As the leader of the National Woman's Party, Alice Paul focused on winning women's suffrage at the national level (as opposed to the state-by-state approach of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association). Once the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, she followed a similar approach to women's rights beyond the vote. In 1923, at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, she proposed an equal rights amendment to the Constitution.
Although Paul and her supporters proposed the amendment (called the Lucretia Mott Amendment) at every session of Congress through the 1940s, Congress never passed it. In 1943, Paul proposed a new version, which conformed more closely to the wording of the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments. She and her supporters continued to bring the amendment (now called the "Alice Paul Amendment") to Congress through the 1970s.
Finally, in 1972, Congress revised the wording and passed what we now
know as the "Equal Rights Amendment," or ERA. Support for the ERA
faltered in the 1970s, and it was not ratified by the states.
Consequently, the Constitution includes no Equal Rights Amendment.
Supporters continue working for its passage. Most recently, they
have adopted a "three state strategy" -- to extend the deadline of the
1972 Amendment and to win its ratification from at least three more
states. Nevada was the first of those three, ratifying the ERA
Lucretia Mott Amendment
(proposed to Congress 1923-1942)
Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.
Alice Paul Amendment
(proposed to Congress 1943-1972)
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Equal Rights Amendment
(passed by Congress in 1972 but not ratified by the states)
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.