UC Davis to Pay $1.35 Million Settlement in Title IX Case
Last week, the University of California at Davis agreed to pay $1.35 million in a settlement with three women wrestlers after a US Federal Court ruled in August 2011 that the university violated Title IX by not sufficiently expanding intercollegiate athletic opportunities for female students between 1998 and 2005. The court also found that the university ended more than 60 intercollegiate sports opportunities for women without replacing them. The settlement covers the cost of the court fees for the eight year duration of the case, but does not include money to the plaintiffs since the court ruled the women were not entitled to damages.
The wrestlers, Arezou Mansourian, Christine Ng, and Lauren Mancusco filed suit in 2003 after UC Davis eliminated women's opportunities in wrestling and other women's sports. When an official at UC Davis decided to limit the number of students allowed on the wrestling team, players were required to try out for a spot. The plaintiffs did not make the cut, which required each wrestler to wrestle-off with opponents of a similar size.
Title IX expert, Kristen Galles from Equity Legal points out that the "The Ninth Circuit opinion emphasized that schools must have both a history and continuing practice of expanding opportunities for women. They cannot just wait until someone files a legal complaint. Schools have affirmative, independent obligations to expand opportunities when women are underrepresented in sports."
"While we were proud to stand up with these plaintiffs for what's right and fair, we look forward to the day when it doesn't take a lawsuit to enforce Title IX," said Linda D. Hallman, American Association for University Women (AAUW) Executive Director.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is currently working to rescind the 2006 Bush-era Title IX regulations that make it significantly easier to allow single-sex classrooms in public schools.
Media Resources: Associated Press 2/17/12; AAUW 2/16/12; LA Times 2/16/12; Equal Rights Advocates 2/16/12 Press Release
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. . . .