Cantwell, Hirono Reintroduce Bicameral Bill to Boost Gender Equity in Education, Support Title IX

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) in reintroducing the bicameral Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) to provide additional resources, training, and technical assistance to combat harassment and discrimination in education. Similar legislation was also reintroduced in the House.

The Gender Equity in Education Act 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; sexual orientation or gender identity; among other characteristics. To do so, the bill:

  • Creates a new Office of Gender Equity within the U.S. 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, and
  • Provides Title IX coordinators at colleges with annual trainings, information, and best practices about Title IX compliance.

Cantwell previously cosponsored the legislation in the 115th and the 116th Congresses.

Senator Cantwell has been a strong advocate for gender equity in education. As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Cantwell led two hearings on NCAA Athletes Rights. In 2020, Cantwell introduced a bipartisan resolution honoring women athletes and in 2017, Cantwell repeatedly fought back against Trump administration attempts to eliminate Title IX protections.

The legislation is endorsed by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), Legal Aid at Work, National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE), National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), and YWCA USA.

In addition to Senator Cantwell (D-WA) and Senator Hirono (D-HI), The Gender Equity in Education Act is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Representatives Val Demings (D-FL), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

The full text of the bill text is available HERE.