Congresswoman Woolsey Introduces Bipartisan Resolution on Title IX
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey recently introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for the Department of Education to withdraw its so-called Title IX 2005 “clarification” letter allowing interest surveys to be used as the only Title IX compliance test for college athletics. Title IX is the landmark 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs, including athletics.
The resolution comes in response to a report issued by the Department of Education defending its apparent policy change, claiming that colleges that used athletic interest surveys of women students as the only factor in determining Title IX compliance were just as likely to add teams for women as institutions that used two or more indicators of student interest, according to InsideHigherEd.com. Donna Lopiano, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, called the fact that surveys count a lack of response as indicating no interest in athletics “a patently absurd contention that would be refuted by any researcher. A non-response is simply that and no meaning can be conferred to anyone’s failure to respond to a survey.”
“The Department of Education has created a gaping hole in Title IX standards by authorizing schools to deny new athletic opportunities based on surveys alone,” said Jocelyn Samuels, a vice president of the National Women’s Law Center. Sue Klein, Education Equity Director, Feminist Majority Foundation, suggests that “Instead of allowing inadequate research, the Department of Education has an opportunity to encourage accurate determinations of student athletic interest by urging continued use of appropriate multiple indicators and by recommending that the Title IX coordinators assume responsibility for obtaining and reporting this information on their campus websites”.
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. . . .