The passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is essential for equity in the workplace for all, including women physicians.
In the 1970s, a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist had trouble getting a loan to buy a car. This physician worked full time, making decisions involving life and death, who treated women and their families, and as it happens, was unmarried. This physician’s ability to get a car loan was hindered simply because this physician was not a man.
Introduced in 1923 and first passed out of Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment advocates equal rights in all areas regardless of sex. Today, inequity in pay and career advancement persists for women physicians. The ERA is necessary to demonstrate the value of women and to assure needed progress. Equal pay for equal work has stalled — the passage of the ERA will increase performance recognition and support women physicians as leaders in academic and healthcare systems.
Even in those specialties where women physicians represent the majority, such as pediatrics, women physicians make less than their male counterparts even after accounting for time off and type of practice. Equity is essential to keep women physicians practicing medicine. advocates for extending the legislative deadline to allow for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Currently, the ERA remains in a holding pattern as it has for decades — now passed in the House and awaiting consideration of a bipartisan measure in the Senate Joint Resolution 6, to waive the deadline to ratify this amendment. Congress can and should extend the date for consideration. The mission of the American Medical Women’s Association is to empower women physicians to lead and to promote equity in the workforce; seeing the ERA pass would assure all women physicians are able to practice and advance in medicine with the same opportunities as any male physician.