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First proposed by the National Woman's Political Party in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was to provide for the legal equality of the sexes and prohibit descrimination on the basis of sex. More than four decades later, the revival of feminism in the late 1960's spurred its introduction into congress. Hawaii was the first state to ratify what would have been the 27th amendment, followed by some 30 other states within a year. However during the mid-1970s, a conservative backlash against feminism eroded support for the Equal Rights Amendment, which ultimately failed to achieve ratification by the requisite 38, or three-fourths, of the states.
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