This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX, also known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. This landmark bill states simply and clearly that “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.”
I have long been a supporter of Title IX programs to promote Hawaii’s young women and advance the cause of gender equity. In 1994, I established my annual Basketball Jamboree, which serves as the only post-season showcase for female student-athletes of all ages from across the state, and in 2006, I created the Team Aloha all-star basketball squad, which provides an opportunity for Hawaii’s top female high school standouts to demonstrate their talents to college coaches and scouts. Furthermore, I’ve been providing leadership scholarships and awards to outstanding young women for many years.
I have always believed that women deserve equal opportunities to succeed in education, business, and government. Immediately after taking the oath of office as Mayor, I appointed a record number of women to serve as department directors or department deputies. Additionally, in my administration, women held prominent roles in the Mayor’s office and on the city’s many boards and commissions. During my term, women were at the helm of the Departments of Budget and Fiscal Services, Facilities and Maintenance, Parks and Recreation, Community Services, Corporation Counsel, Emergency Services, Medical Examiner, and the Neighborhood Commission.
If elected to Congress, I will take this belief in gender equity with me to Capitol Hill to ensure that America’s young women continue to have a chance to succeed in our classrooms, playing fields, workplaces, and beyond.