Forty years ago today, Congress passed Title IX. The landmark civil rights law barred gender discrimination in the country’s schools and colleges, but it is perhaps best known for its impact on female participation on women’s high school and college sports. It's hard to believe today, given the prevalence of women’s sports in schools across the country, but before Title IX only 1 in 27 girls played high school sports and women’s college teams received only two percent of athletic budgets.
Today, women make up more than forty percent of the overall student athlete population at both the high school and college levels and that number continues to grow. This has opened up more opportunities for women to compete in elite competitions like the Olympics and various world championships.
Jackie Joyner Kersee is a living example of Title IX's success. She’s a three-time Olympic gold medal winner and was voted Sports Illustrated’s Greatest Female Athlete of the Twentieth Century. Ali Binney is a volleyball player and junior at Wellesley College.