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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 23, 2008

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Anniversary of Title IX

Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement to commemorate the 36th Anniversary of Title IX.

“Thirty-six years ago today, America took a bold step forward on the long march toward justice and equality when Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, banning gender discrimination in all education programs that receive federal money. When Title IX was passed, many schools had formal or informal policies that suggested no young women need apply. High school girls were routinely barred from vocational education classes. Girls who wanted to play sports were told it was too dangerous, too unfeminine.”

“But thanks to Title IX, we have made much progress. Women now make up more than half of the students in our nation’s colleges and universities. American dominance in women’s sports on the world stage is a testament to the door that Title IX opened for young female athletes - and we know the women on the U.S. Olympic Team will make America proud this summer.”

“But even as these facts speak to the progress that we’ve made, we know that too many of America’s daughters grow up facing barriers to their dreams. Women’s sports still often get short shrift in high school and college. High school vocational courses still tend to guide women toward lower-paying occupations. And when Americans need new skills to compete in this 21st century economy, women still make up fewer than one in five of our engineering graduates, and the number entering computer and information sciences programs is on the decline.”

“When I’m President, I’ll fight to make sure our female students have equal opportunities from pre-kindergarten all the way through graduate school. I will strengthen Title IX enforcement at the Department of Education. I will support the High School Sports Information Collection Act, which directs schools to make information on equality in athletic programs publicly available, as it is at the collegiate level. And I will direct my Department of Education to help schools take proactive steps to fulfill their Title IX obligations in both the sports and academic arenas.”

“I am the father of two young girls who are growing up playing sports and who are beneficiaries of the doors Title IX opened. I’m running for President to make sure that the American Dream is within reach for every young girl in this country. That, after all, is what Title IX is all about – fulfilling our founding promise of equal opportunity for all. And that is the America we can build together – an America where our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.”

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