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Title IX anniversary: How far have we've come and where progress still needs to be made

Lawmakers and advocates joined together for an online panel Thursday commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Today marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX. To celebrate, "Voice in Sports", a group dedicated to inspiring girls and women in sports, hosted online panels with the goal if furthering that inspiration.

At the event, girls and women in sports from around the U.S., professional athletes and Title IX pioneers were raising awareness and sparking discussion about how much progress was made, and how much more needs to happen.

In 1972, the law was passed by President Richard Nixon and it has since changed the lives of women in sports. 

RELATED: What is Title IX and what impact has it had?

Title IX 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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

"Those 37 words are powerful. They changed the course of history and sparked incredible progress for girls and women in sport across the country," said Stef Strack, founder and CEO of "Voice in Sport."

However, despite the progress that was made over five decades, more still needs to be done. 

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"Today it's estimated that nearly nine out of 10 colleges and universities are failing to offer equitable athletic opportunities to women that the law requires," said Massachusetts Rep. Lori Trahan during the panel Thursday morning.

"Things are different today than they were 25 years ago or 50 years ago. But, they are still different," said Sen. Chris Murphy.

It's why lawmakers joined leaders in the collegiate sports world on the panel and to bring awareness to a new piece of legislation called the Fair Play for Women Act of 2022.

"That allows us to make real the commitment of title ix and to finish the work that's been undone," said Murphy.

RELATED: Title IX's next battle: The rights of transgender athletes

The world saw evidence of it on the national level last year when women's basketball players revealed the disparities in their weight room during an NCAA tournament in Texas compared to the men's. 

The law would hold the NCAA and other tournaments to Title IX standards. Additionally, it would create a public database for all collegiate programs so people can see how much they are spending on different programs for different genders.

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Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jleblanc@fox61.com Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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