Washington Area Women's Foundation

Women's History Month Q&A of the Day – March 7, 2012

AlicePaul_1901Q: Who is the suffragist who wrote the first equal rights amendment presented to the U.S. Congress in 1923?

A: Alice Paul spent her life advocating for women’s rights.  She faced incarceration, went on hunger strikes and participated in non-violent civil disobedience campaigns.  She was the author of the original Equal Rights Amendment which was finally passed by both houses of Congress in 1972.  However, the ERA expired in 1982 because it failed to meet the required number of state ratifications.  Paul’s legacy is seen in ERAs adopted into many states’ constitutions and the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.  Paul is scheduled to appear later this year on a U.S. half-ounce $10 gold coin.