Looking at Major Events on the 50th Anniversary of Title IX

1964

The Civil Rights Act includes sex as something that employers cannot discriminate against. It also establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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1971

The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) has been established to administer collegiate women’s athletics and administer national championships.

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1972

Growing up in West Seattle, Patricia Bostrom won a Pac-8 title and a national mixed college doubles title at the University of Washington. She sued the university, asking for a women’s program on par with the men’s and meanwhile the right to try out for the men’s team.

“..I have to hand it over to the University of Washington, because two weeks (after a pre-trial hearing), the university contacted us and said, ‘You were right, we were wrong and there was little money in the women’s program, ‘” Bostrom told the Seattle Times in 2019.

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Fifty years ago, Title IX was passed as part of the Education Amendment of 1972. Here are some key dates since then.

1972

Congress passed Title IX, which is signed into law by President Richard Nixon. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be denied participation in any education program or activity receiving federal financial aid, or any education program or activity.” shall not be subjected to discrimination under Congress also passes the Equal Rights Amendment, but it never gets approval from the 38 states needed to become law.

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1974

The Women’s Educational Equality Act provides “non-sexist courses” as well as grants and contracts to help institutions meet Title IX requirements.

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1975

President Gerald Ford signed on to the Title IX athletics rules, which give athletic departments up to three years to implement, after noting that “under any reason of interpretation to include athletics, congressional was intended.”

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1976

The NCAA challenges the legality of Title IX regarding athletics in a lawsuit dismissed two years later.

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1977

Three female students, two undergraduates and one male faculty member at Yale became the first to sue for sexual assault under Title IX (Alexander v. Yale). It will fail on appeal.

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1978-82

Sue Stimac, one of the first stars of Seattle University’s women’s basketball program, became the first female basketball player to earn All-America honors.

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1978

Jean Eggert She is the first woman to receive an athletic scholarship from Washington State. She became WSU’s all-time leading women’s basketball scorer for a four-year total with 1,967 points, a record for 38 seasons.

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1979

More than 40 athletes and coaches sign a lawsuit against the university, but Karen Blair was the named plaintiff in the historic Blair v. Washington State University lawsuit.

“The comprehensive findings of the trial court’s fact show that, despite notable improvements since the early 1970s, women’s athletic programs have been funded, fundraising efforts, publicity and promotion, scholarships, facilities, equipment, coaching, uniforms has continued to receive substandard treatment, clothing, awards, and administrative staff and practice support,” the Washington Supreme Court ruling read.

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1979

When it comes to athletics, US officials implement a three-pronged test critical to Title IX compliance.

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1980

Title IX oversight is given to the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education.

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1982

Louisiana Tech defeated Cheney State for the first NCAA women’s basketball title. Two months later, the AIAW folds, placing the top women’s collegiate sports solely under the NCAA umbrella.

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1988

Congress overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, making it mandatory that Title IX apply to any school receiving federal funding.

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1994

The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act has been passed. Under Title IX, schools with federal financial aid programs and athletics must provide annual information regarding gender equality, including roster size and certain budgets.

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1996

The female athletes won the lawsuit and forced Brown to reinstate funding for women’s gymnastics and volleyball, as the school violated Title IX when it converted both teams into donor-funded entities.

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2016

Citing Title IX, the Obama administration says that transgender students in public schools should be allowed to use bathrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity. The guidance was scrapped by the Trump administration.

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2017

A Seattle Times investigation found dozens of women who were not on the women’s rowing team, but who UW counted as crew participants in the report to federal officials. The discrepancies raised questions about whether UW athletic officials artificially increased the female crew roster to meet Title IX requirements and maintain federal funding.

As a result of a new policy, only women who have competed in a competition, or who have had skill instruction from a coach and physical activity on a boat or rowing machine for a period of four weeks, will be counted.

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2020

On May 19, the US Department of Education issued a final rule under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment.

“For the first time, the Department’s Title IX rules recognize that sexual harassment, including sexual assault, is unlawful sexual discrimination,” it reads.

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2021

The report rebuked the NCAA for failing to uphold its commitment to gender equality by prioritizing “everything else” its lucrative Division I men’s basketball tournament, including the women’s championship events.

The Associated Press contributed to this timeline.

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