By Alina Tugend
On this, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark gender equality legislation, Margaret Dunkle remembers thinking that the hard work was behind them once the law had passed.
Ms. Dunkle, who played a key role in ensuring that Title 1X was an effective force for change in schools and colleges, said she “originally thought the evolution was going to be quicker and easier and less dramatic.
“It has not been quick, easy or undramatic, but there has been enormous progress,” said Ms. Dunkle, who served with both the Association of American Colleges’ Project on the Status and Education of Women and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the 1970s.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a concise 37 words. Patterned after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it affected, among other things, girls’ and women’s sports, college admissions, academic majors, vocational programs, teaching and coaching positions and even the handling of sexual assaults on campus. But nothing since its passage has been simple. From the beginning, legislators, policymakers and activists clashed as some tried to extend, and others to limit, the law’s reach and power.