Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Release of Presidential Commission Report on Title IX

February 26, 2003


Washington, D.C. - Today, the Presidential Commission on Opportunities in Athletics, established by Education Secretary Rod Paige to examine the role of Title IX in athletics, is scheduled to release its final report. The commission is recommending proposals that would severely undermine women’s participation in athletics. Below is a statement by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“For 30 years, Title IX has taken down the ‘No Girls Allowed’ signs from our schools’ locker rooms, shop classes, and career counseling centers. Today, because of Title IX, we are also taking down the signs from corporate boardrooms. But now, after 30 years of success, Title IX is under attack. The recommendations issued by the Presidential Commission on Opportunity in Athletics will severely undermine Title IX standards.

“These recommendations come at a time when high school girls are still receiving 1.1 million fewer athletic participation opportunities than high school boys, when college women are receiving 58,000 fewer athletic participation opportunities than college men; and when female athletes receive over $133 million less each year in athletic scholarships.

“We need to be finding ways to strengthen Title IX, not undermine it.

“Eliminating women’s rights to play is not the answer to ending the elimination of male sports programs. If cuts are being made, then equalizing funding among all sports is a better way to ensure that all our young people have the option to play the sport they choose.

“As a mother of four adult daughters, I have seen first hand the results of Title IX. Some are visible, like the growing number of girls on soccer fields and basketball courts.

“Equally important, though less tangible, is the message that Title IX sends to women and girls: your education is crucial and your future is limitless.

“Young women today believe they can do anything. And they can. We should not undermine this belief by telling the girls of American that they don’t deserve an equal playing field.

“I call on Secretary Paige and President Bush to continue to support this belief by fulfilling and sustaining the promise of Title IX.”


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