Saturday, June 23rd marks the 35th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  The passage of Title IX has allowed girls and women a seat at what was far too often and for far too long, a male dominated table.  It paved the way for many women and girls who had been marginalized and left out, to be acknowledged, recognized and rewarded for their athletic talent, skill and expertise.

Title IX leveled the playing field by requiring educational institutions that are receiving federal funds to give females an equal opportunity to play sports, treat women and men equally regarding athletic scholarships, and associated benefits such as equipment, coaching and facilities.

Although Title IX is most widely known for creating opportunities for women and girls to play sports, it has done far more.  Title IX prohibits gender discrimination in all aspects of education, including career and technical education programs, employment policies, standardized testing, assignment to classes and treatment of pregnant and parenting teens.  As I reflect on the achievements of women in the fields of science, technology and government, I am personally grateful to the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink (D) of Hawaii.  Representative Mink was a legendary trailblazer whose efforts reconstituted the status quo of our civil society.  Her courage and conviction created a pathway to success that has allowed countless numbers of girls and women to stand with dignity alongside their male counterparts, thereby strengthening our nation in an immeasurable way.