Imagine a world where your daughter, sister or niece was able to play any sport she wanted – fully funded, with all the same facilities – coaching, training, equipment, scheduling – as the men and boys playing that sport.
In 1972, fifty years ago this month, legislation was passed in the United States that aimed to guarantee equality for every woman and girl in education – including school and college sport.
Title IX (nine) stated that any education body receiving federal funding could not discriminate on the grounds of gender.
The impact for women and girls was extensive, and nowhere more so than in sport. Since Title IX was passed into law girls’ participation in high school sport has increased by an astonishing 1057% and in college sports by more than 600%.
International tennis legend Billie Jean King was instrumental in campaigning for Title IX. It was, in part, her desire to protect the sports aspects of Title IX, that led to her creating the Women’s Sports Foundation in the U.S. – the organisation that inspired the founding of Women Sport Australia.
On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Women Sport Australia congratulates Billie Jean King and all who stood beside her to campaign for this groundbreaking legislation.
Whilst we still have a long way to go to create true equality for women and girls in sport – the progress made since Title IX passed shows this is a battle that can be won.
To help create a legacy for women and girls in sport in Australia, join Women Sport Australia by signing our Equity Pledge at womensportaustalia.com.au