by Jo Freeman
I - The Women
As a result of new party rules, 49.8 percent of the 3,338 delegates were women, slightly less than the half required by the new party Charter.
The Coalition for Women's Rights, an ad hoc group of feminist leaders, was created to support feminist planks in the Democratic Platform. Discussing floor strategy are Betty Friedan, Koryne Horbal, Bella Abzug, and Ellie Smeal. Read Jo Freeman's article "Feminist Coalition Faces Down the Carter Campaign."
|Gloria Steinem, who sat on the Democratic Platform Committee, |
speaks to the women's caucus.
A minority report strengthening the plank on reproductive freedom in the Democratic Platform was debated Tuesday night. "Pro-life" won the battle of the signs but lost the vote.
Support for the Equal Right Amendment was already in the Democratic Party Platform. It had been sent by Congress to the states in 1972, but with a seven-year deadline for ratification. When that date arrived, only 35 of the necessary 38 states had ratified. Congress extended the deadline by three years.
Another minority report strengthened the ERA plank by stating that the party would withhold all financial support from any Democratic candidate who did not support the ERA. Feminists hoped that this would convince enough Democrats in at least three state legislatures to support ratification. The minority report passed, but no more states ratified the ERA.
|A popular sentiment about the woman who organized the defeat of the ERA.|
|North Carolina never ratified the ERA, though it passed one house.|
||Nine percent of all delegates – 302 delegates from 47 states – were members of the National Education Association. Virtually all of them supported the ERA, and Carter.|
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