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Getty Images

Amid the #MeToo movement, a heightened number of women running for public office, and a recent push forward for the Equal Rights Amendment, gender equality has risen to the forefront of national conversation.

On Wednesday, Illinois ratified the Equal Rights Amendment — the 37th state to do so since it was first introduced 45 years ago in 1923. The amendment aims to end gender discrimination and reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

One of Illinois’ most famous stars, Oprah Winfrey, remembers an era not too long ago that looked much different than today.

For the full story, visit CNBC.com/ClosingtheGap.

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