Rep. Slaughter Introduces Bill to Improve Girls' Athletics
Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, introduced a bill yesterday designed to improve participation in and funding of high school girls' sports. The announcement was keyed to National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an annual event since 1987.
The High School Athletics Accountability Act would require high schools to report the number of students attending the school, the number of male and female students participating in the athletics program, the number of boys' and girls' sports teams, the budget and expenditures for all the teams, and detailed information about coaches and other athletic personnel, including salaries and levels of experience. "Better information about girls' participation in sports will help high schools and parents to improve fairness and increase athletic opportunities for all students," Rep. Slaughter said in a press release
Girls' participation in school sports is on the rise since the implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity at federally funded educational institutions. But the numbers still fall short of gender equity in school sports, and not all schools are complying with the mandate, reports WomensSportsFoundation.org. At the high school level, available participation data reveal that while girls comprise 50 percent of the general student population, they receive only 39 percent of athletic program opportunities.
"Girls who participate in sports are healthier, more confident, receive higher grades, and have access to more opportunities than non-athletes," Rep. Slaughter said, adding that high schools must be held accountable to provide an "equal playing field for female athletes."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .