Today is the 43rd anniversary of the Title IX–the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity Education Act. Named in 2002 for the Maui-born legislator who fought gender discrimination in school and had helped get Title IX passed during her years in Congress. Here’s the text of a statement U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono released today in her honor:
“Forty-three years later, the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity Education Act, or Title IX, continues to open the door of opportunity and level the playing field for millions of girls in academics and athletics. This groundbreaking legislation wouldn’t have been possible without my friend and inspiration Patsy T. Mink, who wrote and fought tirelessly to pass Title IX.
“Throughout her life, Patsy was a trailblazer despite facing discrimination and was selflessly committed to increasing opportunities for all Americans. Before she was the first woman of color to serve in Congress and the first Asian American to run for President, she was rejected from medical school because she was a woman. Later in her life while she was serving in Congress, Patsy saw her own daughter denied admission from Stanford because of gender-based quotas. Patsy understood the importance of righting these wrongs in our educational system and overcame opposition to pass Title IX in 1972.
“Because of Title IX, millions of girls compete in athletics and in the classroom, but we all have an obligation to pick up where Patsy left off and continue the fight for women’s equality in education, in the workplace, and in political office. Women are underrepresented in critical fields such as science and technology and still do not receive equal pay for equal work. I am proud to have known Patsy T. Mink and to have called her my friend, and I will fight to see her legacy protected and expanded for new generations of women and girls.”
Hirono has also called for Mink to appear on the new $10 bill, according to this June 10 Politico story.
Photo of Patsy Mink: U.S. Congress/Wikimedia Commons