News Releases

Murray Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Title IX, Pushes for Increased Equity

Jun 19 2012

Murray: This is a time for celebration—but it’s also a time to recommit to every young girl out there today

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, attended a hearing on the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark statute intended to end sex discrimination in education.  Senator Murray talked about the gains made for women and girls across the country, but reminded the Committee that there is more work to be done.

There is no doubt that Title IX has opened doors for the last 40 years,” Senator Murray said at the hearing. “The challenge for all of us today is to make sure those doors of opportunity stay open for our daughters, our granddaughters, and our great-granddaughters. That’s why I’ve cosponsored bipartisan legislation with Senator Snowe to strengthen Title IX and make sure it continues to deliver results for every young woman and girl.”

For the past three sessions of Congress, Senator Murray has joined with Senator Snowe to introduce the High School Data Transparency Act. This legislation requires that high schools report basic data on the numbers of female and male students and athletes, as well as the budgets and expenditures made for each sports team. Information required to be reported includes the numbers of male and female participants per team, as well as expenditure information regarding equipment, travel, uniforms, facilities, training and medical facilities, publicity, and coaching.

The full text of Senator Murray’s remarks, as prepared:

“Chairman Harkin, Ranking Member Enzi, thank you for holding this hearing today.

“40 years ago, a mere 37 words threw open the doors to athletics, education and success for millions of young women across America.

“Title IX was simple, but it was powerful. And it’s delivered amazing results.

“In 1972, only 7 percent of high school athletes were girls. By 2011, that number had jumped to 42 percent.

“Title IX has truly changed our country for the better—and the number of women and girls whose lives it touches is growing every single day.

“But this is about more than statistics—it’s about real people. Young women and girls who have had opportunities that were denied to their mothers and grandmothers.

“I’ve seen this first-hand, in my own family.

“When I went to school thirty years ago the atmosphere was a lot different than it is today.

“Back then at Washington State University, I could participate in just a few sports—and it was simply unheard of for women athletes to receive athletic scholarships.

“Fifteen years later it was amazing to watch my own daughter choose to play soccer: learning to be part of a team,  cheering each other on,  and learning how to be gracious in victory and defeat.

“The difference between my daughter's generation and my own could not be more stark.

“So I’m proud to be here today with my colleagues and our esteemed witnesses to celebrate 40 years of Title IX.

“This is a time for celebration—but it’s also a time to recommit to every young girl out there today:  we are going to keep fighting for you.

“We are going to keep working to expand opportunities, and level the playing field.

“Because we’ve made a lot of progress, but we still have work to do. 

“There is no doubt that Title IX has opened doors for the last 40 years.

“The challenge for all of us today is to make sure those doors of opportunity stay open for our daughters, our granddaughters, and our great-granddaughters.

“That’s why I’ve cosponsored bipartisan legislation with Senator Olympia Snowe to strengthen Title IX and make sure it continues to deliver results for every young woman and girl.

“Our bill, the High School Data Transparency Act, will shine a bright light on how high schools are treating their female athletes.

“It will make sure we have good data on the numbers of female and male students and athletes, as well as the budgets and expenditures made for each sports team.

“And it will give us the information we need to make sure high schools are doing what they are supposed to be doing—providing their girls with the resources and opportunities they need to shine.”