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Congresswoman Linda Sánchez Commemorates Anniversary of Title IX

June 23, 2005
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC- In an effort to maintain equity and opportunity for women in athletics, Congresswoman Sánchez made this statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the 33rd Anniversary of Title IX:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the 33rd anniversary of Title IX. Title IX creates opportunities for female athletes. Since its inception in 1972, female participation in sports has increased 400% at colleges and 800% in high schools. As a young girl, I played on several sports teams. These experiences fostered my love of competition. But they had far greater benefits. Girls who play in sports&are less likely to have unplanned pregnancies, more likely to leave an abusive relationship, and are less likely to suffer from depression. Unfortunately, the Department of Education has created a HUGE Title IX loophole. By bending the Title IX rules, it’s now easier for schools to evade their responsibilities to provide opportunities for female athletes. It is wrong for this Administration to reverse the progress made over the last three decades. Tonight, I will join my colleagues in the Annual Congressional Baseball Game. And when I join the lineup in RFK Stadium, I will be on the line for Title IX. Mr. President, I hope you can join us in supporting Title IX by repealing these new damaging rules instead of slamming the door of opportunity in the face of women. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
In addition, Congresswoman Sánchez joined 145 of her Democratic colleagues in sending a letter to the President urging him to withdraw the Department of Education’s recent attempt to undermine the program.

On March 17, the Department of Education, without any notice or public input, issued a new Title IX policy under the guise of a “Clarification” that creates a major loophole through which schools can evade their obligation to provide equal opportunity in sports. The policy allows schools to gauge female students’ interest in athletics by doing nothing more than conducting an e-mail survey and to claim in these days of excessive e-mail spam that a failure to respond to the survey shows a lack of interest in playing sports.

The so-called “Clarification” eliminates schools’ obligation to look broadly and proactively at whether they are satisfying women’s interests in sports, and will thereby perpetuate the cycle of discrimination in sports to which women have been subjected. This new “Clarification’ violates basic principles of equality and threatens to reverse the enormous progress women and girls have made in sports since the enactment of Title IX in 1972.

For the past 33 years, Title IX has ensured that millions of young women have had the opportunity to participate in team sports. Female athletes have worked tirelessly over the years to gain respect and equality and because of their efforts, generations of young women will have an equal opportunity to succeed.