A demonstrator holds a sign calling for the equal rights amendment (ERA) during in the Third Annual Women’s March at Freedom Plaza in Washington, US [File: Joshua Roberts/Reuters]

The US state of Virginia on Wednesday moved to the brink of becoming the crucial 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in what was seen as a momentous victory by women’s rights advocates even though it is far from certain the measure will ever be added to the US Constitution.

The state House and Senate approved the proposed amendment with bipartisan support, well over a generation after Congress sent the ERA to the states for ratification in 1972. Each chamber now must pass the other’s resolution, but final passage is considered all

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