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Title IX

Happy Anniversary, Title IX

On a hot Tuesday afternoon, social justice advocates gathered in the Russell Senate building in D.C. to pop champagne, munch on cupcakes, and celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the passage of Title IX. Read more »

Girls, Sports, and Equality: A State-by-State Ranking on Title IX

Public high schools across the country are not providing girls with their fair share of spots on sports teams—and today, on the 43rd anniversary of Title IX, we released a new analysis that shows every state is falling short. The analysis features an interactive map and a state-by-state ranking based on the percentage of high schools in each state and the District of Columbia that have large gender equity gaps in sports participation.*

Using the latest Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection for the 2011-2012 school year we find that: Read more »

Turf Wars in the World Cup and Title IX

The Women's World Cup recently began in Canada, with the best soccer teams in the world facing off against one another in a thrilling tournament. I love the World Cup, and I watch most of the games that I can. There’s nothing more exciting than an unexpected goal, or a come-from-behind win in the last few minutes. This tournament is usually pretty identical to the men's World Cup, if not more exciting. However this time there's one glaring difference: the women are playing on turf. 

Blatant Gender Discrimination

Until this year, the FIFA World Cup has always been played on real grass. The men’s tournament hosted in Brazil last year was played on grass, and the 2018 and 2022 tournaments have also been scheduled to be played on grass. FIFA has long had issues with sexism, but this clear lack of respect for the women’s game has been too blatant to overlook. Read more »

HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act Introduced This Morning

This morning I had the privilege of participating in a press conference held by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA), to announce their introduction of a bipartisan bill to address campus sexual assault: the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) Campus Sexual Violence Act.

Nearly 20% of college women and 6% of college men are victims of attempted or completed campus sexual assault — and the numbers are really higher, as sexual assault is a very under-reported crime. Too often, survivors are afraid to report their experiences, not only to law enforcement but also to their schools, because they fear biased treatment that denies them access to fair and impartial resolutions and that can traumatize and re-victimize them. Read more »

When it Comes to Campus Assault, Safety is Not Only in the Eye of the Bystander

There’s no way around this — it’s a fact that sexual assault is happening on college campuses across the country. Lawmakers, administrators, and activists have debated any number of ways to curb this epidemic and keep students truly safe. Read more »

New Report Shows How Girls of Color Are Doubly Disadvantaged in Access to School Sports Opportunities

Venus and Serena Williams, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Jessica Mendoza, Michelle Wie... The sheer excellence of these female athletes of color might lead one to think that the playing field is finally level, for all girls and women. But the sad truth is that high schools across the country still do not give girls equal opportunities to play sports, and girls of color are doubly disadvantaged. That’s the main message of a report released today by the National Women’s Law Center and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, which presents new data in a new way to highlight athletic disparities on the basis of race and gender.  

Because data on sports opportunities, or spots on teams, are not available by gender and race together, the report compares the opportunities provided by heavily minority schools (where 10 percent or less of the students are white) and heavily white schools (where 90 percent or more of the students are white). The major findings of the report are: Read more »

Title IX Enforcement Funding Gets a Boost in the President's Budget

In 1973, legendary female tennis player Billie Jean King faced taunts and disbelief when she played Bobby Riggs in the famously televised “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. 

This week, Serena Williams won her 19th grand slam title.

Today we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. We are reminded this week how far girls and women have come in sports since 1972 when Title IX was passed: women’s participation in collegiate athletics climbed from less than 16 percent in 1972 to 44 percent in the 2010-11 academic year.  Though women’s sports participation is far from equal, last year girls’ participation in high school sports hit a record-high: girls make up almost 42 percent of high school athletes. Read more »

Resolution of Title IX Complaint Against Harvard Law School Will Help Schools Understand How to Properly Address Harassment

As 2014 drew to a close, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued its resolution of a complaint against Harvard Law School (HLS) for failing to properly address sexual harassment and assault. The resolution is comprehensive and reflects OCR’s work to vigorously enforce Title IX in our nation’s schools.

Specifically, OCR found that HLS failed to respond appropriately to two specific complaints of sexual assault, noting significant delays between the filing of one complaint and its resolution and the exclusion of the complainant from an appeal that resulted in a reversal of the decision to dismiss the alleged assailant. It also found that the law school failed to train all decision makers to meet the requirements of Title IX and that its Title IX policies and procedures did not comply with Title IX’s requirements for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints.

Among other things, the resolution agreement that Harvard entered into with OCR requires the following: Read more »

Guidance from the Departments of Ed & Justice Will Enforce Education Rights of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

Last week, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (DOJ) released a joint guidance letter reminding juvenile justice residential facilities of their obligations under Title IX [PDF] and other civil rights laws to provide equal access to quality educational opportunities for confined youth.

The guidance makes it clear that under Title IX, all facilities that receive federal funds must offer equal educational opportunities without regard to sex. That means youth detention centers must make sure girls have equal access to career and technical programs and that facilities cannot rely on gender stereotypes when determining what opportunities to make available (e.g., automotive repair classes only for boys and cosmetology only for girls). The guidance also says that under Title IX, facilities must protect committed youth from sexual harassment and violence regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or conformity with sex stereotypes. Read more »

Sexual Assault and Title IX: Not Just a Concern for Colleges

From congressional and White House recommendations on reducing campus sexual assaults earlier this year to the White House’s unveiling this week of a new prevention campaign, the problem of sexual assault on college campuses has been receiving an unprecedented level of attention of late. Shining the spotlight on a problem that affects the educational opportunities of so many young women across the country is important. But we must not forget that sexual harassment and violence is also an all too present reality for many girls in elementary and secondary schools. And Title IX – the civil rights law that is not just about sports but also requires all schools that receive federal funding to address sexual harassment – protects these K-12 students too. Read more »