Gender Equity in Athletics and Sports
Commission on Opportunity in Athletics
Feminist Victory! In June 2002, the Department of Education created the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics to review Title IX and recommend changes in its enforcement.
Feminists swung into action. We attended, spoke at, and demonstrated in front of the Commission’s town meetings. We sent emails and called the Commission. We made sure that the Commission heard our message: Leave Title IX Alone.
The Commission was stacked with representatives from big sports schools. Its final recommendations would have devastated Title IX and drastically reduced the number of sport opportunities for women and girls.
But we did not give up. Two of the Commissioners, Julie Foudy and Donna DeVarona, filed a minority report showing how dangerous the Commission's recommendations were. We held hearings and kept letting the Commission and the Administration know that it should not weaken Title IX.
On July 11, 2003 the Department of Education announced that it would not act on any of the recommendations made by the Commission that would weaken Title IX.
Even though women and girls have seen their opportunities in sports grow, there is still much more work to be done. Young women make up 53% of the student body in Division 1 schools, yet they receive only 41% of the athletic opportunities, 36% of the athletic budgets, and 32% of the recruitment budget. The Department of Education must step up its enforcement of Title IX to make sure women and girls get the opportunities they deserve.