The Equal Rights Amendment ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce property employment and other matters. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. The amendment was introduced in Congress for the first time in and has prompted conversations about the meaning of equality for women and men.In the early history of the Equal Rights Amendment middleclass women were largely supportive while those speaking for the working class were often opposed pointing out that employed women needed special protections regarding working conditions and employment hours. With the rise of the women's movement in the United States in the s the ERA garnered increasing support and after being reintroduced by Representative Martha Griffiths DMI in it passed both houses of Congress in and was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification.Congress had originally set a ratification deadline of March . Through the amendment received of the necessary state ratifications. With wide bipartisan support including that of both major political parties both houses of Congress and Presidents Ford and Carter it seemed headed for ratification until Phyllis Schlafly mobilized conservative women in opposition arguing that the ERA would disadvantage housewives and cause women to be drafted into the military. Four states rescinded their ratifications before the deadline; however there is no precedent or mechanism within the US Constitution for rescinding and thus it becomes a legal question. In a joint resolution of Congress extended the ratification deadline to June but no further states ratified the amendment before that revised deadline.