AAUW was instrumental in the passage of Title IX in 1972. This historic legislation, co-authored by AAUW member Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI), opened the doors of education to women, finally allowing them access to college and graduate school, after-school programs, and most famously, sports. Ironically, most people don’t know that sports are not even mentioned in the act. Title IX states, simply,
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Although women and girls have made great strides both on and off the playing field, challenges still remain. Nearly half of all middle school students are sexually harassed, women are underrepresented in the STEM fields, and occupational segregation still exists.