Happy 42nd birthday to Title IX! The landmark U.S. civil rights law which prohibits gender discrimination in any educational program or activity became law today in 1972. Due to this far-reaching legislation, girls and women have equal access to higher education, are legally protected at school from sexual harassment, and have greater professional opportunities in academia. And, of course, the Act is especially famous for its transformative effect on girls’ and women’s athletics.
The U.S. has among the highest levels of participation of girls in sports in the world and that fact is largely due to this little known, but hugely significant law. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, girls’ and women’s participation in sports in the US has increased by 990% in high schools and by 560% at the college level since its passage.
Thanks to all of the activists and politicians who championed the passage of Title IX! And, special thanks to former US Congresswoman Patsy Mink, one of Title IX’s principal authors and the driving force behind its passage; in 2002, the Act was renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in her honor. Thanks to all of their hard work and dedication, girls and women in the US have had greater access to everything from higher education to sports programs for the past four decades!
For an excellent resource for teaching tweens and teens about the history of Title IX and its impact on girls’ lives, we highly recommend “Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America” for ages 11 and up at http://www.amightygirl.com/let-me-play
For a great film to show young viewers what life was life for female athletes before the passage of Title IX, check out “Believe in Me” at http://www.amightygirl.com/believe-in-me (ages 7 and up)
To celebrate the engagement of girls and women and sports, you can share the stories of female sporting greats found in our “Sports & Games” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/sports-games
You can also encourage your own Mighty Girl’s participation in sports with the games and gear in our “Outdoor Play” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/toys/outdoor-play
And, if your Mighty Girl is an athlete, you can find girl-empowering t-shirts that show off her love of sports in our “Sports & Hobbies” clothing section at http://www.amightygirl.com/clothing?clothing_themes=145
Thanks to the National Women’s Law Center for this tribute to Title IX!