Illinois Just Voted To Ratify The Equal Rights Amendment — Putting It One State Away From Possible Enshrinement In The U.S. Constitution

The Illinois House voted on Wednesday to become the 37th state in the U.S. to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The decision came nearly a century after the amendment was first drafted.

Though originally approved by Congress in 1972, the ERA — which aimed to explicitly enshrine gender equality — was quickly met with opposition from conservative women's groups. As a result, the amendment was only ratified by 35 states, three short of the required number to add it to the Constitution.

Now, due to movements like #MeToo and the Women's March, there's a revived push to enshrine the ERA. Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the amendment just last year, leaving 13 states such as Arkansas and Missouri to possibly become the final push it needs.

Democratic Illinois Rep. Stephanie Kifowit praised her state's decision on Wednesday. "I am appalled and embarrassed that the state of Illinois has not done this earlier," she said. "I am proud to be on this side of history and I am proud to support not only all the women that this will help, that this will send a message to, but I am also here to be a role model for my daughter."