Sen. Hirono Reintroduces Gender Equity in Education Act, Named After Maui Native
Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) reintroduced the bicameral Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act — legislation that would provide additional resources, training and technical assistance to combat harassment and discrimination in education.
Patsy Mink, a Maui native and 1944 valedictorian of Maui High School, was the first woman of color and first Asian-American woman elected to the US House of Representatives. In 1972, she co-authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in 2002, the year she died.
In 2017, Rep. Louis Slaughter of New York, a champion of womenʻs rights, originally introduced the Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act to provide better resources to schools for carrying out Title IX goals. She died in 2018, having served 16 terms as a US representative.
“Trailblazers Patsy Mink and Louise Slaughter spent their careers demanding better opportunities for all Americans, regardless of their gender,” Sen. Hirono said. “This bill builds on their legacy by providing more funding to address sex-based harassment and discrimination in education. On the 49th anniversary of Title IX’s enactment, Congress should act now to make sure that all students can learn in safe and supportive learning environments.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), nine other senators and seven other representatives. It advances Title IX and promotes equity in education for students who face discrimination based on multiple characteristics including actual or perceived sex — including sex stereotypes; pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; and sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill:
- Creates a new Office of Gender Equity within the US Department of Education to coordinate Title IX activities in the Department and throughout other federal agencies.
- Funds competitive grants for K-12 schools, colleges and universities, states, school districts and other educational organizations to boost Title IX compliance programs.
- Provides Title IX coordinators at colleges with annual trainings, information and best practices about Title IX compliance.
The legislation is endorsed by the American Association of University Women, Association of Title IX Administrators, Feminist Majority Foundation, Legal Aid at Work, National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, National Women’s Law Center, Women’s Sports Foundation and YWCA USA.
Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Matsui previously introduced the legislation in the 115th and 116th Congresses.
“Patsy Mink and Louise Slaughter were tireless warriors for equality and continue to serve as our north star for expanding opportunity and eradicating discrimination on the basis of sex in schools everywhere,” Rep. Matsui said. “By fiercely advocating for Title IX, these champions ensured that future generations of women and girls would have the tools to pursue their passions and become the next generation of leaders.”
Deborah Antoine, Women’s Sports Foundation CEO said: “Girls’ and women’s access and opportunities in sport have come a long way since the passing of Title IX 49 years ago, and we still have a lot of work to do.”