Feminist Majority Foundation Leads Effort To Share Impact Of Law In Women’s Lives
CHICAGO – Two senior members of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campus Program Team mobilized dozens of students in the Chicago area to attend President Bush’s Commission on Equal Opportunity in Athletics’ second set of hearings, taking place here today and tomorrow. Students on 15 campuses within a 200-mile radius of the Chicago area learned about the commission’s Chicago hearings from FMF while at least 10 students signed up to speak about the positive impact of Title IX in their lives.
“I wouldn’t have had a scholarship. I wouldn’t have had a team. I wouldn’t have had a community on my campus if it weren’t for Title IX,” said Kelly Kennedy, a former member of the varsity women’s volleyball team at the University of Wisconsin and now a professional volleyball player for the Chicago Thunder.
The administration claims that the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics was formed to ensure that Title IX allows fairness for both sexes, while the Feminist Majority Foundation and other leading women’s groups are calling the commission the newest attempt to weaken a landmark federal law that eliminated gender discrimination in education.
“Despite the overwhelming successes and support that Title IX enjoys, despite the fact that participation in school sports has increased for boys and girls since the passage of Title IX, the Bush Administration has created this commission to undermine Title IX and all the opportunities it provides women in athletics,” stated Katherine Minarik, Director of Campus Programs of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Title IX, which was passed in 1972, requires federally-funded educational institutions to grant male and female students equal opportunities in academics, athletics, funding and resources. Critics claim that it has done so in the athletic realm at the expense of men’s sports. In 1971, only 294,015 girls participated in high school athletics. Today, over 2.7 million girls participate in high school athletics, an 847 percent increase, according to the US Department of Education.
While co-chaired by former WNBA star Cynthia Cooper, the commission is stacked with representatives from NCAA Division I schools-- many of which are still not in compliance with Title IX after 30 years - and those who believe that women do not want to play sports, and thus should not be offered the opportunity, according to the Women and Sports Foundation.
The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which was founded in 1987, is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. In all spheres, FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. Our organization believes that feminists-- both women and men, girls and boys-- are the majority, but this majority must be empowered.
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. . . .