ACTION ALERT: Urge Support for the Gender Equity in Education Act
We Must Apply Pressure:
Urge Your Representative to Support the Gender Equity in Education Act
The Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) was re-introduced by Rep. Doris Matsui (H.R.4097) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (S.2186) on June 23, 2021, Title IX’s 49th anniversary. It is named “The Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act of 2021” after Congresswoman Mink who sponsored Title IX and the Women’s Educational Equity Act (GEEA’s predecessor) and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, GEEA’s original co-sponsor.
The GEEA will:
- Establish a high-level Office for Gender Equity in the U.S. Department of Education
- Help the Administration’s Gender Policy Council coordinate gender equity education policies and activities among federal agencies and globally
- Use its $160 Million annual appropriations to build a national infrastructure to fully implement Title IX by supporting Title IX Coordinators and their allies through a grants program, web-based resources, training and research
Despite the substantial increases in academic attainment of women and girls through college, there is still much sex discrimination that harms all students and educators. GEEA of 2021 pays special attention to intersectional sex discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity, and compounded discrimination based on sex in combination with race, color, disability, national origin, LGBTQIA+ status, and age. The GEEA emphasis on Title IX Coordinators and their allies is especially needed now as the current Administration revises and updates Title IX regulations related to sexual harassment and assault, discipline, appearance codes and unfair procedures to treat all fairly and without retaliation. The national gender equity infrastructure as supported by GEEA will help the over 100,000 Title IX Coordinators and their allies work together vertically through state education agencies, school districts, local schools, and postsecondary institutions, and horizontally with their peer Title IX Coordinators, educators, gender equity experts, advocates, parents, and community stakeholders.
At the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, many NOW chapters signed on to a letter to the Department of Education transition team requesting the establishment of the Office for Gender Equity in the Department of Education. Since it can be established under existing legislation, we are asking Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to do this prior to passage of GEEA of 2021.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Voice your support for GEAA and urge your lawmakers to prioritize this bicameral bill. Quick passage of GEAA means it may be included in upcoming federal spending bills or civil rights bills (if the Senate filibuster ends).
HOW DO I DO IT?
Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to connect with your Representative or Senator (here are directories to find additional contact information for Senators and Representatives). Please check the Senate and House bill links above to learn if you should thank your member for co-sponsoring GEEA or ask them to do so now.
WHAT DO I SAY?
“I am calling/writing to urge Senator/Representative [NAME] to support the Gender Equity in Education Act by becoming a co-sponsor. Passing this bill will reinforce Title IX in education systems and provide a just learning environment for future generations.”
SPREAD THE WORD
Contacting your Senator or Representative is just a start. Help us keep the conversation going by spreading the word on social media and urging others to take action. You can find their Twitter handles here, and below are some sample social media posts you can use:
- @[Senator/Representative handle] please co-sponsor the Gender Equity in Education Act to give our children a fair and safe education! #GEEA
- People of [your state/city], urge @[your Senator/Representative handle] to co-sponsor the Gender Equity in Education Act today to help end gender discrimination in schools and support #TitleIX. #GEEA
- 1 in 4 girls will experience sexual violence before she turns 18. A vote for the Gender Equity in Education Act is a vote to stop that. Take action by urging your members of Congress to co-sponsor #GEEA: https://www.aauw.org/act/two-minute-activist/geea/
- Senator Hironi Press Release: Hirono, Matsui Reintroduce Bicameral Bill to Boost Gender Equity in Education, Support Title IX
- AAUW: Stand Up for Equity in Education: Tell Your Legislators to Cosponsor GEEA!
- Feminist Majority: Gender Equity in Education Act Reintroduced in House and Senate to Advance Title IX’s Implementation