WOODBRIDGE, VA — Delegate Hala Ayala spoke on the House floor yesterday honoring the one year anniversary of the historic vote in the General Assembly making Virginia the 28th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Delegate Hala Ayala was the Chief Co-patron on the bill and spearheaded the effort with women’s activists across the state.
“A year ago today, our General Assembly made history right. We voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Equal Right Amendment.” Said Delegate Hala Ayala. “Our Commonwealth became the 38th and final state to ensure that gender equality is protected in our Constitution. I was proud to be the Chief Co-Patron and champion this fight alongside the women who paved the way for me.
But the Equal Rights Amendment is just the floor and not the ceiling. --and we still have work to do to close the pay gap and to ensure every woman has access to affordable, safe reproductive healthcare. The Equal Rights Amendment will change the lives of the women now and who will come after us--to create a level playing field. Today, on this first anniversary on its passage, we take the time to remember the long, hard battle for women’s equality and devote ourselves to continuing to fight to ensure that EVERY Virginian--not just some--has an equal opportunity in our Commonwealth.”
Delegate Ayala then joined more than 30 of her supporters and fellow activists to celebrate on a virtual zoom event in the evening.
Delegate Ayala has spent her career advocating on behalf of women and children. Her bill to study fetal and infant mortality throughout the Commonwealth with an emphasis on racial disparities is expected to pass out of the Houselater this evening. Delegate Ayala has also introduced a paid family leave bill and you can read this legislation in an op-ed she wrote last week.