38th Anniversary of Title IX Brings New Enforcement Bills in Congress
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Title IX, a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in all levels of education. The legislation, which was originally passed in 1972, reads: "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." While most widely known for increasing women's participation in high school and college athletics, women's rights advocates now hope to use Title IX to increase gender equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, among other areas.
AAUW (formerly known as the American Association of University Women), said in a press release yesterday, "We have seen a 900 percent increase in the number of girls playing high school sports. Imagine if we could increase the number of girls taking AP calculus and AP physics to the same degree? Title IX is about ending gender discrimination in all aspects of education." According to AAUW, women make up only 25 percent of the labor force in STEM fields.
Currently, there are two bills in Congress that would enable stronger enforcement of Title IX in athletics. The High School Athletics Accountability Act (H.R. 2882) and its Senate counterpart the High School Sports Information Collection Act (S. 471), would require the information and statistics on gender equity in school athletic programs be made available to the public.
As Title IX celebrates its anniversary, a legal case is pending in Connecticut debating whether or not cheerleading qualifies as a sport eligible to count towards Title IX equity requirements, reports the Washington Post. The trial, which alleges that Quinnipiac University violates Title IX by failing to provide equal opportunity to women athletes to participate in varsity-level sports, began on Monday.
Media Resources: AAUW Press Release 6/22/10; The Washington Post 6/23/0; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/23/09, 5/26/10
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .