National Partnership for Women & Families

At 50 Years Old, the Civil Rights Act is a Reminder of Our Nation’s Promise of Equal Rights and Opportunity for All

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 2, 2014 —

“Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson affirmed our nation's commitment to equality under the law for all people. The signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the culmination of a hard-fought and comprehensive effort to ban discrimination – in public accommodations, in education and in employment. It was a groundbreaking moment for women, people of color, and the country.

Five decades later, the Civil Rights Act has unquestionably created a more equal American society that is worthy of celebration today. Title VII of the law and its protections against sex discrimination in employment have advanced workplace equality and improved job opportunities for women and for people across race, class and creed. The National Partnership is proud to have helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which strengthened the law’s legal protections.

But despite impressive progress over the years, the promise of the Civil Rights Act has not been fully realized. Too many women and people across the country still face blatant discrimination in employment and elsewhere that not only violates their fundamental rights, but also threatens their economic stability and that of their families, their communities and our economy. It is unacceptable that this insidious behavior persists.

So while this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is a time to celebrate our country’s accomplishments, it is also a moment to assess our progress and a stark reminder that vigorous enforcement of all our non-discrimination laws must be a top priority for the administration. Congress, too, must act by establishing new laws and protections that will help fulfill the promise of the Civil Rights Act. The push for equality, justice and equal opportunity must continue.”

Contact

Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600 skliner@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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