Meet Laura, a Girls Inc. Ambassador, former Teen Advocacy Council Member, and an Alumna of the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Affiliate. She is currently a student at California Lutheran University double majoring in English and Ethnic Studies with a double minor in Gender & Women’s Studies and Spanish. Here, Laura shares how she learned about the importance of Title IX and the rights that it has given her today.
Fifty years ago, our government decided that they wanted to ensure all students had quality access to education free from sex discrimination. Henceforth, regardless of your gender or sex, you are protected to participate in any federally funded setting like schools, sports teams, etc. Prior to 1972, there was no such thing as Title IX to make gender or sex discrimination unlawful. Recent generations experienced a world where these protections did not exist.
Now, imagine 50 years later students who reap the benefits of Title IX are unaware of how this law benefits them. I was one of those people. It was through Girls Inc. programming that I was completely informed and educated about the importance of Title IX and how I procure the benefits of this legislation in my own life.
Although I had sometimes overheard the phrase Title IX being mentioned in the news, I never thought it applied to me. Girls Inc. took the time to introduce me to the legislation and make it comprehensible to me. Through Girls Inc. I understood that because of Title IX I was able to go to school, play on a sports team, and report a sexual assault without judgment. Through my time on the Girls Inc. National Teen Advocacy Council, I was introduced to the actual legislation of Title IX. I became aware of the different amendments that had been included to Title IX to protect students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, as well as pregnant students. I am so grateful to Girls Inc. because without their programs I would be unaware of these protections that apply to me and my peers.
As a current undergraduate student at a four-year university, Title IX has become a much more prevalent conversation. Since it is estimated that 19% of women will experience sexual assault in college and only about 12% of sexual assault cases actually get reported, it is extremely important to be aware of Title IX and how it impacts our everyday lives.