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. -Text of Title IX
Signed into law in 1972, Title IX created major changes in our education system such that women and girls found new opportunities both in classrooms and on athletic fields.
See also: Single-sex education
In Education: In 1972, women earned just 7% of all law degrees and 9% of all medical degrees. By 2001, they received 47% of law degrees and 43% of medical degrees. In 1970, women earned only 13.3% of doctoral degrees; 30 years later, nearly half of all doctoral degrees are awarded to women.
In Athletics: In the days before Title IX, only one in 27 girls played varsity high school sports. By 2001, that figure was up to one in 2.5, for a total of 2.8 million girls playing high school sports. Similarly, 32,000 women athletes played on intercollegiate teams prior to Title IX, compared with 150,000 today. Athletic scholarships for women were virtually non-existent prior to Title IX, but by 2003, there was more than $1 million in scholarships for women at Division I schools.
In spite of the great impact Title IX has had, there's still work to be done.
In Education: Women remain underrepresented in traditionally male fields that lead to greater earning power after graduation. While women received 65% of all doctoral degrees in education awarded in 2001, they received only 17% of all engineering and 18% of computer science doctorates.
In Athletics: Women athletes continue to get fewer teams, fewer scholarships and lower budgets than their male counterparts. Among Division I schools in 2000, spending on men's athletics was nearly double what was spent on women's sports.
In recent years, opponents in the Bush administration and elsewhere have challenged Title IX and weakened its enforcement. A recent move allows schools to defund women's sports opportunities based on a single e-mail survey to potential participants. Another blow to Title IX is the Department of Education's recent change in regulations that allow for more single-sex education in public schools.
Learn how you can help in the fight to protect and strengthen Title IX by:
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