Mazie K Hirono

35th Anniversary of Title IX - May 15, 2007

Mazie K Hirono
May 15, 2007— U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
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Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce a resolution celebrating the 35th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972. Thirty-five years ago, a college applicant could be denied admission simply because she was a woman.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 changed that. Led by the late Representatives Patsy T. Mink and Edith Green, Congress established a principle we often take for granted today--the prohibition of sex discrimination in any federally funded educational program. The results are astounding.

In 1972, only 9 percent of JDs were earned by women. Today women earn almost half of all law degrees. In fact, I am one of the many women able to go to law school because of Title IX. The story is similar for MDs and PhDs.

There are also, of course, the athletic opportunities. Here too, the change from 1972 to 2007 is astounding. Today, college athletic opportunities abound for young women. And the recent surge in women's professional sports teams could not have happened without the dramatic increase in women playing college sports.

These successes--both academic and athletic--are worth celebrating, as are the women who came before us here on the House floor as leaders of the Title IX movement. In 2002, after Representative Patsy T. Mink passed away, Chairman MILLER introduced a bill that named Title IX the "Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act." I have a picture of Patsy hanging in my office. She is an inspiration to me. And I know that if she were here today she would remind us that our work is not finished.

There are many problems still to be addressed. Women continue to face substantial barriers, especially in high wage fields such as science, technology, engineering and math. Sexual harassment remains pervasive in schools and on college campuses. Women and girls' sports teams still do not receive an equal share of resources.

Title IX is as necessary today as it was in 1972.

I am pleased to have over 100 original cosponsors on this bill, including Speaker PELOSI. I urge the rest of my colleagues to join me in celebrating Title IX's successes and in recognizing the work still to be done in our march toward equal educational opportunities.

153 Congr. Rec. E1052. (2007).