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Caught a professional women's basketball game lately? Watched a woman biochemist talk about her work on TV? You're seeing some of the effects of Title IX, the federal law passed 35 years ago on June 23, 1972, to give female students equal access to education and athletic opportunities. Today, 2.95 million women athletes play competitive sports, compared to fewer than 300,000 in 1972.

The ACLU of Southern California has helped expand the promise of gender equity. In 2004, we supported a state bill to apply Title IX standards to city athletic programs. We also represented a teen mother who was removed from regular classes because of her child care needs and placed in low-quality "study hall." And we sued on behalf of a girls' softball league that played on substandard fields, while the boys' Little Leagues enjoyed top-notch fields nearby.