Equal Rights Advocates Rally at Capitol

Women's rights advocates made their voices heard on the steps of the Florida capitol with hopes that the ERA will become part of the federal Constitution.

Linda Miklowitz, with the National Organization for Women, joined other women's rights advocates at the Florida Capitol Monday to help pass the Equal Rights Amendment. So far, 35 states have ratified the ERA, but 38 are needed for it to be part of the federal Constitution.

"We work; we take care of our children. We go out into the community, and we work, we deserve to be treated like everybody else, and we're not," says Louise Hinkley, women’s rights advocate.

Demonstrators say since the women's movement of the 1970's, there has been progress with more women in office and with the success of title nine, giving women an equal playing field in higher education, sports and scholarships.

Demonstrators say a federal ERA will be their ultimate stamp of progress.

"We cannot stand by and just watch all of the rights that we've fought so hard for, just constantly be chipped away, chipped and chipped away, so now is the time to get that constitutional standing,” says Nancy Hurlbert, with business and professional women.

Women's rights advocates believe a federal ERA could mean higher pay, better benefits and equal respect for women.

"Women need that extra security, just like we had to do with the civil rights movement, we had to get that extra security to back our women, I have daughters, my mom was a fighter and so am I,” says John Voss, a women's rights advocate.

Nancy Hurlbert says there are era sponsors in the Florida House and Senate who have filed bills and are assigned to committees. The purpose of Monday's rally was to encourage the chairs of the committees to place those ERA bills onto agendas.