Bush Commission Recommends Cutting Back on Women's Sports Opportunities
A draft of the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics' report on Title IX, published in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, ignores the continuing lack of participation opportunities and funding that women's and girls' athletics face in favor of recommendations that will increase males' participation in athletics. Title IX is the 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education, including athletic programs. The Chronicle also reports that "the report also uses language to describe how gender-equity guidelines have evolved that is very similar to language contained in a lawsuit filed against the Education Department by associations of coaches of men's sports like wrestling and swimming.”
The Commission suggested several sweeping changes to Title IX enforcement that will effectively eviscerate the gains women and girls have made in athletics. One recommendation, according to the Women's Sports Foundation, will result in the loss of thousands of participation opportunities for women in college and hundreds of thousands of opportunities for young women in high school. The Commission supported forcing women and girls to show that they are interested in sports before they are given the opportunity to play. The history of Title IX, however, clearly shows that it is lack of opportunity that limits the participation of women and girls in sports, not lack of interest. If given the chance, women and girls will play. Since Title IX, the number of young women participating in college sports has increased 400 percent and the number of young women participating in high school sports has increased 800 percent. Despite 30 years of struggle, women and girls are still not equal. Women and girls still have fewer athletic participation opportunities then men, receive less funding, receive less recruitment money, and are given inferior facilities.
Moreover, the Commission's decision to endorse men's sports over women's rests on the stereotypical belief that men are more naturally interested in sports and thus deserve more opportunities and resources. The same lack of interest and talent arguments were used to keep women out of higher education, math classes, and science classes. If its recommendations are accepted, the Commission’s government-sanctioned discrimination could spread throughout education.
The Commission's report will be officially presented to the Department of Education on Wednesday.
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. . . .