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Congressional Power to Effect Sex Equality: The History and Future of the Economic Equity Act

Please click here to view a video of this event.

This symposium, hosted by the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, explored the efforts of the Congressional Women's Caucus and, more specifically, the Economic Equity Act, an omnibus piece of legislation active in Congress throughout the 1980s and first half of the 1990s. A bipartisan effort, the Economic Equity Act sought to improve the lives of women by tackling the economic challenges they faced as homemakers and caregivers, workers, consumers, and business owners. Focusing on practical reforms in areas such as tax, insurance, employee and retirement benefits, and credit and lending, the Act’s many successful provisions aimed to achieve sex equality not in theory, but in fact.

The event was tied to an article that we are publishing this winter, entitled Congressional Power to Effect Sex Equality and written by Patricia Seith. The article provided a springboard for a discussion of efforts to legislate toward gender and class equity in the past and implications for the present and future. Speakers included Congresswomen Elizabeth Holtzman and Pat Schroeder, and scholars Alice Kessler-Harris (Columbia), Stephen Ansolabehere (Harvard University), Serena Mayeri (Penn Law) Patricia Seith (Stanford Law), and Suzanne Kahn (Columbia).

Please click the links below to access Patricia Seith's article and responses to the article from some of the speakers listed above:


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