Title IX: Empowering women for 50 years

Tami-Ann Treasure, Opinion and Editorials Editor

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that was enacted in 1972. This law prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities.

All members of a school family are protected under this law: Undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and even visitors. This law also applies to elementary and secondary schools, public and private.

It is important to speak on the relevance of Title IX in our academic society today as we acknowledge the 50th anniversary.

Title IX is no doubt still relevant today as its “Final Rule” was released in 2020. This rule made a clear distinction between how schools should respond to a formal complaint versus other sexual harassment allegations. If the law no longer had relevance, there would be no need to update its standards.

Schools have a responsibility to respond to all complaints and allegations and failure to do so gives the Department of Education the right to investigate, enforce Title IX and force accountability.

“Discrimination is often confused with Title IX, but sexual violence is most definitely a hostile environment for a victim and therefore can be classified as discrimination since sexual harassment of any kind prevents students from equal access to education,” Cynthia Elsberry, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, said.

Limitations should not be placed on what is considered discrimination. Every student deserves the right for their complaints to be heard and acted upon.

This law also sheds a light on how males and females are treated in college athletics regarding competence and equality.

“I feel like boys will always get more funding in their activities no matter how they produce compared to girls,” Madiala Diabate, a student athlete at GHC, said.

Young women and men being extended the same opportunities to participate in sports and school activities is a great way for them to maximize their potential.

“I believe we need to ensure that we are funding men’s and women’s sports on a level field,” Director of Athletics, Brandan Harrell, said. “We need to continue to offer young women the opportunity to participate in athletics at the college level.”

Knowing that this legislation exists to protect us all from discrimination and sexual harassment makes the times we are living in feel a bit safer.