Decades ago, being a woman often meant household duties, but for the past 40 years, more opportunities, both athletic and educational, have become available to females.
Feb. 1 marked the 40th anniversary of Title IX, an educational amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The SIU women’s basketball team celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day Saturday by held a basketball clinic for girls. The clinic — designed to help girls develop effective leadership skills — was available to those in eighth grade and younger.
SIU women’s basketball center Cici Shannon said celebrating NGWSD with girls in the community was fun. She said it’s a great way for younger girls to practice good leadership skills and celebrate equal opportunities today.
“It seems like men overpower women, but we have the same chances to do what they can do,” Shannon said. “Girls play basketball and do other sports just like boys. We can do a lot and we try not to limit ourselves.”
According to the NGWSD’s website, the Title states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Shannon said she’s glad Title IX came into affect because her chances of being a collegiate female athlete may have been effected if equal opportunity wasn’t offered.
Mallary Allen, a sociology teaching assistant, said Title IX was an excellent advance for women.
“It is important because it ensured that all programs receiving federal funding would be equally funded, so it’s not to favor men over women,” Allen said.
Allen said Title IX has helped with self-esteem and confidence, especially in athletics. She said it was good the women’s basketball program held the clinic because it passes these ideals down.
“Sports are really important for developing self-esteem,” Allen said. “(The girls) see a lot of the role models they have accessible to them are really unrealistic role models and they’re role models that emphasize things like physical beauty.”
Allen said she would like SIU to acknowledge more Title IX and federal funding for women’s athletics in comparison to men’s basketball and football. She said men’s sports are recognized more than female sports, both by fans and through funding.
Each school or individual receiving federal funding must have a designated Title IX compliance officer to oversee efforts and investigate any complaints that are filed, according to NGWSD’s website.
Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity Linda McCabe Smith said because the university is an equal opportunity establishment, it prohibits discrimination because of gender.
She said fair treatment between male and female students as an important aspect of justice is emphasized at the university.