Title IX Commission To Meet on Final Recommendations; Women’s Groups To Hold Rally
This Wednesday and Thursday, President Bush’s Commission on Opportunity in Athletics – the group slated with the task of “reviewing” Title IX – will hold its final meeting to discuss their recommendations for the landmark law that banned gender discrimination in federally-funded education. A coalition of women’s rights groups will be staging a rally to ensure that the commission – stacked with opponents to Title IX - does not take away educational opportunities for women and girls. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation will be joined by Martha Burk, president of the National Council for Women’s Organizations and Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, to lead this important event.
“If the commission’s recommendations are implemented the federal government will officially be endorsing the idea that ‘no discrimination’ as promised by Title IX and a host of other civil rights laws means something less than full equality for all,” Smeal said. “If women and girls are shut out of athletic participation because of the commission’s report, the same rationale could be used to reverse the gains women have made in science, math and graduate schools.”
As the commission’s recommendations stand currently, women and girls will lose thousands of opportunities to participate in athletics and thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Members of the commission appear to believe that women are inherently less interested in sports than men and that women deserve fewer resources than men. The history of Title IX, however, shows that the more opportunities women get, the more they will play. Since the law was passed in 1972, Title IX has dramatically increased opportunities in athletics for women and girls. In 1972, fewer than 300,000 girls played high school sports. Now, 2.7 million girls participate in such teams, according to the Department of Education. Before Title IX, young women accounted for 7 percent of students participating in high school sports; by 2000, girls were 41.5 percent of students participating in high school sports.
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. . . .