Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History

Title IX at 50: Women’s Fight for Access and Equity

Explore the turbulent and diverse history of women’s organizing and activism around Title IX, the federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex that was passed 50 years ago in 1972.

Now in its seventh year, the Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women's History is the cornerstone of the Center for Women's History's public and scholarly programs. This year’s virtual conference features a mix of pre-recorded and live conversations during March 2022.

Activists have long been the driving force behind the enactment and enforcement of Title IX, which emerged from decades of political organizing by women in higher education and women’s civil rights groups. The statute—which covers a broad scope of American educational life from K-12 to higher education—became a new tool to challenge governmental and educational institutions to give women greater access to education. Sports and sexual harassment quickly became flashpoints, raising questions about how access is tied to safety, bodily integrity, and resources.

Fifty years after its passage, Title IX carries a powerful legacy of women’s activism against systemic sexism and for equal access to education. This anniversary is an opportunity to discuss the multiple interpretations of Title IX—and its limitations—and to consider how to ensure a more just future.

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