For 50 Years, Title IX Has Transformed Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Job Is Not Yet Done.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs or activities. Because almost all schools receive federal funds, the law applies in nearly every educational context. Most people associate Title IX with athletics, where it has indeed had a profound effect on girls and women. Before Title IX, women and girls were virtually excluded from most athletic opportunities in schools.

The Pew Research Center did a national survey to gauge awareness and attitudes about Title IX 50 years after its passage. Among those who know about Title IX, there are both gender and political gaps in how they think about it.

Celebrating the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: A Conversation with Rep. Jackie Speier

Last week, President Biden signed the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation included in the fiscal year appropriations package. Two of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)’s bills were included in the VAWA reauthorization: a bill closing the law enforcement consent loophole, and another requiring climate surveys for college and university students to assess efforts to address sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking and dating violence.

Speier, first elected to Congress in 2008, has announced that she will not seek reelection in November. She sat down with Ms. contributor Michelle Onello to discuss the improved VAWA and its critical importance for women, as well as her plans after she retires from Congress. 

I’m 18 and I’m Afraid: The Looming Threat of On-Campus Sexual Assault

Social media has allowed students attending universities across the U.S. to connect and share stories of harassment and sexual assault on campus—increasing awareness, protecting their peers and motivating universities to take action.

Students discuss how they want to see their school take action and how to dismantle the pervasive campus culture which condones predatory actions.

High School Youth Create Social Media Space to Share Stories of Sexual Violence: “Like an Unearthing Moment”

When Sarah created the Piedmont Protectors Instagram account in July 2020, the Bay Area high school student wanted a platform for students to share their stories of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in their community.

Though Piedmont High School only has 840 students, the account gained over 1,500 within the first week. After three days of being live, there were already over 90 posts anonymously reporting and documenting sexual assault, harassment and rape in the Piedmont Unified School District student community. 

To Better Understand Sexual Violence on College Campuses, Congress Members Demand Education Department Changes

Up to 25 percent of undergraduate women will become victims of sexual violence—but because existing mechanisms for capturing and measuring this impact fail to capture the full scope of the issue, this number may be even higher. On Monday, members of Congress formally called this to the attention of the Biden administration.

In a letter signed by 77 members of Congress, signatories called on the Department of Education to update Campus Climate surveys, which assess campus culture including sexual violence.

A Devastating Supreme Court Decision on Sexual Assault Shows Why the U.S. Needs the ERA Now

When she was a college freshman in 1994, Christy Brzonkala was gang-raped by two students at Virginia Tech. Brzonkala turned to a law newly passed called the Violence Against Women Act—and her case made it to the Supreme Court, where women’s right to equal protection from violence ultimately died.

When passed, the Equal Rights Amendment would spark Congress to enact new laws on gender violence, including redrafting the Violence Against Women Act civil rights remedy, and chart a path to overturn Brzonkala’s devastating decision.

The Department of Education is Failing Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault

In March, President Biden issued an executive order asking the Department of Education to re-examine the harmful Title IX regulations put in place under Betsy DeVos. But, after months of empty platitudes about “urgency” and how the Department “takes these matters seriously,” they have failed to take any meaningful action and will delay any changes until May of 2022. 

No survivor should have to wait to have their most basic rights met.

Over Half of College Sexual Assaults Happen Between Orientation and Thanksgiving. Here’s How to Protect Survivors

More than half of sexual assaults on campus occur between orientation and Thanksgiving—a period known as the “Red Zone.” And with the amount of new students on campus doubling as a result of COVID-19, these numbers risk being doubled as well.

With campus awareness and mental health support, we as students, faculty, family and community can reclaim Red Zones.