Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today released the following statement commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, commonly known as Title IX. This federal law protects students from sex discrimination in federally supported education programs and activities. The landmark legislation was signed into law on June 23, 1972.
"In the four decades since the passage of Title IX, we've seen a tremendous increase in opportunities for girls and women in every facet of American life. Women make up almost half of law school and medical school graduates. Soccer fields, softball diamonds, and basketball courts across the country are filled with girls and women playing organized league sports. Women are now represented in almost every kind of job.
"On this anniversary, we must never forget why this legislation was needed in the first place and why we must continue to protect and strengthen it. Hawaii's own Patsy Mink, who co-authored Title IX, was denied access to medical school because she was a woman. Patsy's personal experience of the sting of sex discrimination drove her efforts, motivating her to attend the University of Chicago Law School."
"I am proud to have known Patsy Mink -- to have been inspired by her and to have called her friend. On Title IX's 40th birthday, I am sure Patsy would agree we still have a long way to go until we truly reach gender equity.
"Women still don't earn equal pay for equal work. Women are still underrepresented in high wage fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math. Even in sports, women's and girls' teams still do not receive an equal share of resources.
"While we take this opportunity to thank the pioneers who have laid the groundwork for Title IX, we must remain diligent and continue to build and expand on the work that's been done these past 40 years."