Meryl Streep has signed a letter being sent to every single member of Congress, urging them to revive a constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for women.
“I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality – for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself – by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment,” Streep wrote in the message.
Each of her letters were sent to Capitol Hill along with a copy of the book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for the ERA is Now by Jessica Neuwirth, president of the ERA Coalition, which was founded last year to rally a broader base of public support for the amendment.
The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972, stating, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States of by any state on account of sex.” But only 35 states ratified it over the next 10 years, three short of the 38-state minimum needed to add it to the Constitution, and the issue stalled. Since then, the Associated Press notes, lawmakers from both political parties have regularly tried to restart the process.
Streep, who turned 66 on Monday, stars in a film about British suffragettes coming out this fall, and also had this reaction when Patricia Arquette called for equal pay for women during acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars: