Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Celebrating Title IX

Published on June 23, 2009


susan_rice_title_ix Today marks the 37th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark federal legislation prohibiting gender discrimination in high school and intercollegiate athletics.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Although commonly referred to as Title IX, the formal name of the law was originally Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It is now formally known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of its principal author.

Title IX was enacted June 23, 1972 yet in the 37 years since its creation women are still fighting for equal access in athletics on all levels.

“While great strides have been made, Title IX’s work is not done, especially at the high school level, where girls face continued discrimination in scheduling, equipment, facilities, and overall participation opportunities,” said Lisa Maatz, American Association of University Women director of public policy and government relations. “Because the benefits of girls’ sports are undeniable—better grades, fewer teen pregnancies, less involvement with drugs—it’s critical that we ensure a fair playing field.”

This week AAUW hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill, along with the Women’s Sports Foundation and the National Women’s Law Center, to discuss the need for legislation to require high schools to report gender equity data.

AAUW supports the High School Sports Information Collection Act (S. 471) and the High School Athletics Accountability Act (H.R. 2882), which would help communities better enforce Title IX by making public the expenditures for high school athletic programs and the participation rates of female and male students.

The White House also planned events commemorating this groundbreaking law. It holds a roundtable today at 2:30 p.m. ET featuring Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and an all-star line-up of women athletes and scientists. In addition to the roundtable participants, which include Billie Jean King and Dominique Dawes, 30 local high school aged girls will be in the audience along with several professional athletes and well-known Title IX advocates.

The roundtable will be streamed live on the web both at and on Facebook at The roundtable will be kept up to date during the event on the comments and questions coming in through the chat.

Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote a blog on her experiences as an athlete and Title IX.

“I’m grateful for Title IX and what it means to young women across America,” wrote Rice. She also encouraged women to submit photos of their participation in athletics to be a part of an online feature on the White House web site.

Photo: Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations playing basketball as a youngster at the National Cathedral School in Washington


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