Women's Law Project Examines Title IX in Pennsylvania
Colleges and universities in Pennsylvania are failing to provide adequate athletic opportunities for women students, according to a recent report from the Pennsylvania-based Women's Law Project (WLP). The report studied 112 schools in Pennsylvania for three years, and found that while women were over 53 percent of the student body, they received only 43 percent of athletic opportunities, thus failing the proportionality test of Title IX, the 1972 law prohibiting sex discrimination in educational programs, including athletics. The report did not examine the two other criteria by which schools can comply with Title IX athletics requirements.
There were also gender disparities in funding, as women’s athletics received an average of 60 cents for every dollar spent on men’s athletics. The institutions with the best record on equitable athletic opportunities were those in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division 1 that did not offer football.
The report recommended that schools make gender equity a central goal of their athletics departments, and draw on the successes of schools with more equitable opportunities and funding. “It’s very simple: schools committed to their female athletes can be fair and nondiscriminatory if they choose to do so; schools that point to football as a scapegoat are just making excuses for their choice to discriminate,” said David S. Cohen, staff attorney at WLP and author of the report
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. . . .