It’s Been 40 Years Since Title IX Equalized Sports for Women

By  |  39 Comments Staff Writer

Women waited years to hear these life-changing words:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

And if it weren’t for theses words, we may not have come to know the names of Venus and Serena Williams, Lisa Leslie, and Marion Jones.

That single phrase, was an amendment spear-headed by Sen. Birch Bayh that was attached to the Education Amendments bill on 1972. That bill was passed by congress 40 years ago and it was a major victory in women’s rights. It went on to become Title IX, the law known for making huge strides for women in sports.

Before the passage of Title IX, only one in 27 girls participated in high school sports. Today, two out of five do. Ironically, the words “sports” or “athletics” are not even mentioned in Title IX.  Bayh and the other Title IX supporters simply wanted to give women a fighting chance at higher education and higher-paying jobs.

This week marks 40 years since the passage of Title IX.

In honor of the law, pioneering women including Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut, tennis player Billie Jean King who defeated Bobby Riggs in the tennis match billed “The Battle of the Sexes,” and U.S. Coast Guard Academy Rear Admiral Sandra L. Stosz  made a trip to Capitol Hill to talk about how Title IX changed their lives.


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