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LOWER MANHATTAN —Women’s rights activists, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) and actress Alyssa Milano, gathered around the Fearless Girl statue Monday calling for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

“An Equal Rights Amendment will give all citizens of the United States the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Milano.

Maloney has reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment 11 times since arriving in Congress in 1993. She believes the country is experiencing a newfound awareness.

“The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have captured the conscious of this nation, and changed the conversation,” said Maloney. “The ERA is essential to moving this conversation along.”

Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972 and said 38 states needed to ratify it within seven years. That deadline was extended and expired in 1982, but by that point only 35 states ratified it.

The effort is gaining momentum once again. Nevada ratified the amendment last year, as did Illinois last week. It remains unclear what will occur if and when a 38th state ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment because of the expired deadline.

Maloney will be hosting a “shadow hearing” on Capitol Hill this Wednesday.