In 1972, the idea of a female Supreme Court Justice or U.S. Secretary of State might have seemed like a distant dream.
But since the passage that year of legislation known as Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of gender, opportunities for women and girls in the United States have expanded in almost every realm. It has allowed more women to achieve advanced degrees, participate in collegiate athletics programs, and advance successfully in the workforce.
A new book, More Than Title IX: How Equity in Education Has Shaped the Nation, blends historical analysis and personal narratives to tell the story of gender equity in education and its impact on other areas of society, such as n the workplace and on public policy. Highlighting the years surrounding the passage of Title IX, the story is told through first-person accounts by educators, activists, and business men and women.
“Many people have little sense of how far things have come, how deep the struggle was, and how different things are today,” says co-author Katherine Hanson, who directed the Women’s Educational Equity Act (WEEA) Resource Center at EDC. “We want readers to recognize what has changed and to keep an eye on what is happening today to make sure the gains that have been made are not eroded.”
“The book acknowledges that progress has been made, but this work is never done and there are still equity issues,” adds co-author Sarita Pillai, also of EDC. “The issues are more nuanced now. For instance, in the workplace, no one questions a women’s right to work, but there are still issues of pay inequity and a glass ceiling. In athletics, there may not be the same issues of access, but there is a disparity of importance between men’s and women’s teams.”
More Than Title IX is written for a general audience and can be used as a supplemental text in history and gender studies courses. It is divided into six thematic sections that cover a range of topics, including sports, the workplace, and public policy and legislation.
The book includes interviews with 25 men and women who have spent their lives and careers working towards achieving equity in schools, communities, and the workplace. The authors hope the book’s stories will be a call to action and inspire others, particularly young people, to find their own unique ways to continue the journey for equity.
“Those we interviewed did not do what they did just so that they could get better jobs and opportunities for themselves,” says co-author Vivian Guilfoy, EDC senior vice president. “They felt they were working for a greater good and for future generations.”
More Than Title IX was funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation and is published by Rowman & Littlefield. The book also includes a detailed timeline of key moments in the equity movement in the United States since the 1500s.
Originally published on October 27, 2009