"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..."
- United States Code Section 20 (Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
BAWSI is an advocate for all social and policy issues that impact the lives of girls and women in sport. We support full implementation of Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law requiring schools and colleges to provide equal opportunities to female students. BAWSI recognizes the importance of advocating to protect this critical law which has enabled huge strides toward leveling the playing field for women.
Research reflecting on the gains of Title IX after nearly 40 years demonstrates the following:
- In the first six years following the enactment of Title IX, the percentage of high school girls playing team sports jumped sixfold, from about 4 percent to 25 percent.
- The number of female high school athletes has increased from just 295,000 in 1972 to more than 2.6 million today, while the number of women involved in college sports has grown from 31,000 to over 180,000.
- Increasing girls' participation in sports has a direct effect on women's education and employment: a 2010 study by Dr. Betsey Stevenson found that changes set in motion by Title IX explained 20 percent of the increase in education and about 40 percent of the rise in employment among the 25-to-34-year-old women included in the study.
- A 2010 study by Dr. Robert Kaestner found that the increase in girls' athletic participation caused by Title IX was associated with a 7 percent lower risk of obesity in women 20 to 25 years later.
Despite these gains, there is still a discrepancy not only in participation in sports by gender, but also in the provision of equitable resources such as equipment, uniforms and facilities, in attendance at women's sporting events, and in coverage by the media. BAWSI actively advocates in support of Title IX and the women's sports community.
License to Thrive: Title IX at 35
In 2007, T-Time Productions released "License to Thrive: Title IX at 35." This multi-media project explores the unique history of the Title IX legislation and celebrates the numerous successes and achievements of women and girls in fields ranging from business to science to law to sports since Title IX's passage in 1972. The "License to Thrive" DVD also includes a Facilitators' Guide which uses content from the "License to Thrive" film and the project website, www.licensetothrive.org, to help generate at-home, in-classroom or after-school discussions about the importance of education and equality for girls and women.
To order the "License to Thrive" DVD, go to www.licensetothrive.tv