59 Cents

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Text on Button 59 ¢
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White text on a green background

Curl Text [union bugs]
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Founded in 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest feminist organization in the United States. In 1972, NOW began a campaign in support of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), which, if passed, would constitutionally prohibit discrimination based on sex in the United States. The legislation included a seven-year deadline, which Congress extended until 1982 due to activist support. The deadline passed when the act was three states short of the 38 required for ratification in the Constitution. The “59 ¢” seen on this button refers to the gender pay gap: in 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, women made on average 59 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts.

In January 2020, the ERA reached the required 38 state ratifications. However, it is still not enshrined in the constitution. NOW continues to create similar green buttons, using the color of money to recognize the economic importance of the ERA. 


1980.38.4 (political pin, political button). 1980.38.4 (Political Pin, Political Button) | UNI Museum @ Rod Library. (n.d.). https://museum.library.uni.edu/objects/1980384

Dickson, A. (2024, May 14). The pathway to recognizing the Equal Rights Amendment. Ms. Magazine. https://msmagazine.com/2024/02/20/equal-rights-amendment-era-2024/

The Equal Rights Amendment explained. Brennan Center for Justice. (2019, October 9). https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/equal-rights-am…

The Equal Rights Amendment: National Organization for Women. National Organization for Women -. (n.d.). https://now.org/now-and-the-equal-rights-amendment/

Estep, S. (2023, June 7). What to know about the gender wage gap as the equal pay act turns 60. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/article/what-to-know-about-the-gender-…

Who we are: National Organization for Women. National Organization for Women. (2016, July 20). https://now.org/about/who-we-are/

Catalog ID IB0637