Representative Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) released the following statement celebrating the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, which falls on June 23. Title IX was a historical, bipartisan achievement that led to enormous advances for America's women and girls -- passed by a Democratic-led Congress, with the leadership of Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI) and Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN), and signed into law by President Richard Nixon.
"At a time when universities barred the admission of women and when female sport teams were scarce, Title IX marked a momentous step forward for women's equality in the classroom and on the playing field," said Rep. Edwards. "In the 40 years since passage, Title IX has promoted equal access for women at all levels of education across the country."
Title IX is a standard that for 40 years has promoted equal opportunity for women in athletics and contributed to the athletic and educational achievement of hundreds of thousands of young women. Since Title IX's passage, the number of girls who compete in high school sports has grown ten-fold -- from fewer than 300,000 in 1972 to more than three million today. Similarly, the number of young women who participate in college sports has grown six-fold -- from fewer than 30,000 in 1972 to more than 190,000 today.
However, Title IX is not only about athletics. It affects all areas of education. Title IX has made it possible for women to pursue careers as lawyers, doctors, mechanics, and scientists. It is important in bolstering equal access to educational opportunities in a full range of academic subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and math; and also ensuring an academic environment free of sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and violence.
"Title IX has made tremendous progress to root out gender discrimination and inequalities in athletics and education, but there is still a lot of work necessary to level the playing field between men and women throughout our society," added Rep. Edwards. "We have seen repeated attempts in the 112th Congress to limit women's rights. That is why I will continue to work with the President Obama and my Congressional colleagues to ensure that Title IX and the rights of all of America's women and girls are protected vigorously."