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Hirono, Matsui Reintroduce Bicameral Legislation to Promote Title IX, Gender Equity in Education

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) on June 25 reintroduced bicameral legislation to provide more resources, training, and technical assistance to address discrimination in education throughout the U.S.

Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Doris Matsui

The Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) would provide these resources through the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, more commonly referred to as Title IX, which is the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally-supported education programs and activities.

“Patsy Mink and Louise Slaughter were fierce advocates for strengthening educational opportunities for all Americans, regardless of their gender,” Hirono said. “Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, their support has reaffirmed the fundamental principal that sex-based discrimination has no place in our nation’s schools; they broke down barriers, opened countless doors for women and girls, and created safer learning environments for all students.

“This legislation builds on their important legacy and provides more resources needed to address bias and discrimination in schools, further advancing Title IX’s important mandate.”

Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927-2002)

“Patsy Mink and Louise Slaughter were forces of nature – dedicated to expanding opportunity and eradicating discrimination on the basis of sex in schools everywhere,” Matsui said. “As strong supporters of Title IX, their work inspired generations of women to see themselves differently and achieve their dreams – inside the classroom or on the field of play. It is our duty to honor and support the legacy of Title IX and ensure that every child, regardless of gender, has the same opportunity to succeed.

“I am proud to support this legislation, which will provide schools with the resources needed to remove discrimination and ensure that all federally-supported institutions of learning are equal and just places for all.”

“Since Congress passed Title IX, women and girls have made significant strides in education, but barriers still exist. Sadly, women and girls still do not have equal access to education free from bias and discrimination,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer at the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “On the 47th anniversary of Title IX, AAUW thanks Sen. Hirono and Rep. Matsui for reintroducing the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act, which would provide critical resources, training and technical assistance to help educational entities fully comply with Title IX.

“We look forward to working with all members of Congress to build upon the successes of Title IX and continue fighting to level the playing field for all students.”

“Women and girls have made significant strides in education since Congress passed Title IX, but more work remains to be done to fulfill the law’s promise of an education free from sex discrimination,” said Younghee Overly, AAUW of Hawaii state public policy chair. “The Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act would help students realize this promise by providing more tools and resources to fully enforce the law. AAUW of Hawaii members continue to stand on the front lines working to ensure Title IX coordinators in schools know the full scope of their jobs and continue to effectively implement Title IX.

“We applaud Sen. Hirono and Rep. Matsui for the re-introduction of this critical bill and look forward to continuing the fight for equity in education.”

GEEA further advances Title IX by providing more resources to address discrimination in schools. Specifically, the bill:

• Establishes a new Office of Gender Equity at the Department of Education to coordinate Title IX activities within the Department of Education and throughout other federal agencies;

• Provides competitive grants for K-12 schools, colleges and universities, states, school districts, and related organizations to improve Title IX compliance;

• Provides Title IX coordinators with annual trainings and disseminates information about Title IX best practices nationwide; and

• Combats discrimination, harassment, bias, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, and other medical conditions.

GEEA has been endorsed by AAUW and the National Women’s Law Center.

In addition to Hirono, GEEA is also co-sponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

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