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Murray, Senate Honor 44th Anniversary of Title IX, Landmark Civil Rights Law Prohibiting Discrimination

Title IX opened doors to athletics, education and success for millions of women, girls, and LGBT people across the United States


On anniversary Senators introduce resolution, recommit to defending and strengthening Title IX and redoubling efforts to protect all students from discrimination, harassment, and violence

(Washington D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was joined by 37 Senators in introducing a resolution to honor the 44th Anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Congress enacted Title IX to address widespread discrimination against women and girls in all aspects of their education. Title IX is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the administration of any education program that receives federal funding and promotes equity in schools.

Critically, Title IX also encompasses protections against gender-based violence, sexual harassment and assault, dating violence, stalking, and domestic violence and guarantees equal educational opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), pregnant or parenting, and gender non-conforming students. In the Senate resolution, Murray and her colleagues applaud the tremendous increases in educational and athletic opportunities for women and girls since the passage of Title IX, recognize there is more that needs to be done to promote equity for all students, and encourage efforts by the Departments of Education and Justice to ensure states and schools work together to prevent and respond to all cases of discrimination and violence, including against students based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender non-conformity.

“Title IX truly changed our country for the better—and the number of women, girls, and LGBT Americans whose lives it touches continues to grow every single day,” said Senator Murray. “Women and girls now have opportunities that were once denied to their mothers and grandmothers. I’ve seen this first-hand, in my own family. The challenge for us today is to make sure the doors of opportunity stay open and that we work to expand equity and protections under Title IX--because despite the progress that has been made, too many students are too often denied equal educational opportunities because of who they are or who they love. We need to work just as hard today to ensure all students have access to a safe learning environment and the chance to learn, grow, and thrive in the classroom and on the field.”

Senator Murray introduced the resolution today with: Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).


The text of the resolution follows: 

Title IX Resolution

Purpose: A resolution affirming the importance of Title IX, applauding the increase in educational opportunities available to women and girls, and recognizing the tremendous amount of work left to be done.

Whereas 44 years ago President Richard M. Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, renamed the ‘Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act’ in 2002, into law;

Whereas Title IX prohibits any institution that receives federal education funding from discriminating against students or employees on the basis of sex;

Whereas sex discrimination includes gender-based violence, sexual harassment and assault, dating violence, and domestic violence; 

Whereas Title IX guarantees equal educational opportunities for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), pregnant or parenting, and gender non-conforming students;

Whereas since 1972 this country has made great progress in providing educational opportunities to women and girls, and today women earn the majority of doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees;[1]

Whereas since 1972 women and girls’ participation in sports has increased by almost 900 percent in high school and almost 500 percent in college, providing them with the opportunity to develop leadership and teamwork skills, earn athletic scholarships to help finance a college degree, and become successful professional athletes; [2]

Whereas, despite the progress that has been made in higher education and athletics, women, girls, pregnant or parenting students, LGBT, and gender non-conforming Americans are still too often denied equal educational opportunities; 

Whereas the share of bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math earned by women has decreased over the past decade, and women now earn only 19 percent of engineering, 18 percent of computing, 42 percent of mathematics, and 39 percent of physical science bachelor’s degrees;[3]

Whereas women of color earn only 6 percent of computing and 3 percent of engineering bachelor’s degrees; [4]

Whereas there are about 64,000 fewer opportunities for women to participate in college sports than men, and in 2015 only 37 of the 313 athletic directors in Division I sports were women;[5] 

Whereas multiple studies have confirmed that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted on college campuses and about 20 percent of girls have been the victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault while in high school;

Whereas more than 50 percent of girls in grades 7 through 12 experience sexual harassment and 10 percent of high school students experience dating violence each year, which can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety, unhealthy and antisocial behaviors, and negatively impact academic achievement;[6]

Whereas men still hold the vast majority of school leadership positions and only about 31 percent of full professors at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, [7] 26 percent of college and university presidents,[8] and 27 percent of school district superintendents are women;[9]

Whereas pregnant and parenting students are more likely to drop out of high school than other students and only 51 percent of mothers under the age of 20 earn their high school diploma by the age of 22, leading to decreased opportunities for continuing education and employment;[10]

Whereas LGBT students face pervasive discrimination and harassment in school, on college campuses, and in the workforce, impeding their ability to fully access the educational opportunities they are entitled to;

Resolved, that the Senate –

(1) applauds the tremendous increase in educational opportunities, including in sports, for women and girls since the passage of Title IX;

(2) commends the work of the Departments of Education and Justice to ensure students have a safe learning environment by working to ensure schools prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, including but not limited to sexual assault, harassment, domestic and dating violence, pregnancy, sex-stereotyping, and discrimination based on actual or perceived gender identity; and

(3) recognizes the progress that still remains to secure the promise of Title IX that no educational institution that receives federal funds discriminates against any person because of their sex.