1936 December 20

Women’s Groups Secretly Meet to Create Common “Charter” on Women’s Rights


Representatives of the major women’s rights groups, it was reported on this day, had been holding a number of secret meetings in an effort to develop a common “Charter” on women’s rights. The central issue involved the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), drafted and introduced by Alice Paul on July 21, 1923. Many women’s rights advocates feared that a constitutional amendment on women’s equality would nullify protective legislation for women workers, particularly laws regulating wages and hours. Protective legislation had been a hard-won crusade for left-liberal women’s rights advocates for decades. The groups involved in the meetings regarding a Charter included the Women’s Trade Union League, the League of Women Voters, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the National Federation of Business and Professional Women. Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party, the leading advocate of the ERA, also participated in the meetings. In the end, however, no agreement about a common Charter was reached.

Read: Christina A. Lunardini, From Equal Suffrage to Equal Rights: Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party, 1910–1928 (1986)

Learn more about the ERAhttp://www.equalrightsamendment.org/

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