Equal Means Equal!
On Wednesday, April 9, Frostburg presented Kamala Lopez, the Founder of the ERA Project Founder. Her presentation, titled “Equal Means Equal,” discussed men’s and women’s equality. Lopez presented twice, at both 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m. in the Atkinson Room of the Lane University Center. Both of the sessions were free to attend and open to the public of students, staff and the community.
The ERA Education Project was created to raise awareness about the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. To make students aware of issues behind equal rights, Lopez showed a variety of videos to catch the interest and show that people are concerned around the region about the equal rights of women and men.
The first video Lopez showed during her presentation was called, “You Should Be Furious.” This video provided facts about women and society. The main idea of the video was that the public should be furious, not silent and afraid.
Did you know that 42 percent of women are more likely to live in poverty? Did you know that half of women are more likely to receive pension? The community of Frostburg that attended this event were presented with these facts. Also, when a man makes a dollar at a job, women make 79 cents, 63 cents and sometimes even 43 cents. Lopez explained that 77 percent of Americans do not know this. She wants more people to become involved and make a difference in society today.
When Lopez found out about how men and women are not equal in this society, she became furious and motivated to create a movement. During her presentation, she asked students, “What is the Equal Rights Amendment?” When students did not answer, she explained that it simply acknowledges what the majority of the population of America believes: that men and women are equal under the law. After women had gained the right to vote in 1920, the Constitution has not been changed since then.
“The Supreme Court is not looking out for the interest of women,” Lopez stated. “Gender equality in the Constitution should be ratified and it should be specifically directed towards women.” Lopez presented the reality that women are poor because of small incomes and when women become poor, children become poor. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2013, about 46 percent of children living in single-mother households lived in poverty. In order for change to happen, women need a law point to and they do not have that law specified.
Not only are women struggling with equal rights issues, but also men. Men do want to be more involved with their children but sometimes they cannot because of the biases in the law. Even though most of the presentation discussed women equality, Lopez also pointed out the inequalities males face. She believed that fair means fair.
Lopez and her family have been working with the ERA for four years now. “We can’t make change on our own,” she said. She wants the FSU community to be aware of the current issues with equal rights and to spread the word.
“One small thing you do will have an impact,” Lopez stated. That statement should definitely stick out to the FSU community.
To learn more about the ERA Project, visit www.eraeducationproject.com.