Gabbard Pays Tribute to Title IX and Co-Author Patsy MinkJune 5, 2013, 6:07 PM HST (Updated June 5, 2013, 6:10 PM)
US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard paid tribute Tuesday to one of her predecessors at an event celebrating this month’s 41st anniversary of the signing of Title IX legislation.
The late Rep. Patsy Mink, a Democrat from Hawaii, was a co-author and the driving force behind the landmark legislation that opened the door to gender equality in sports.
Speaking at the event organized by the American Association of University Women in Washington DC, Gabbard noted that Mink managed to overcome significant barriers.
“She grew up wanting to be a doctor and was rejected from over a dozen medical schools in the 1940s simply for being a woman,” Gabbard said. “She went on to attend law school and dedicated her life to battling the status quo.”
Mink, who was born on a Maui sugar plantation, was the first Asian-American woman in Congress. She served in the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1977, and again from 1990 until her death in 2002.
“Title IX law is a mere 37 words, but over the last 40 years, it has made an incredible impact in the lives of young women around the country,” Gabbard said in remarks delivered on the House floor.
“Today, girls can play basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis – or even football. Patsy opened the door for these opportunities,” the District 2 congresswoman said. “Many young women have walked through this door, paving the way for great athletes everywhere.”
Before the bill was signed by President Nixon in June 1972, fewer than 300,000 woman and girls were active in high school athletics, Gabbard said.
More than 3 million participate today.