WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) this week, alongside members of Congress, recognized National Women’s Sports Week and honored the 51st anniversary of Title IX. Resolutions in both the Senate (S. Res. 267) and in the House (H. Res. 536) to support the designation of National Women’s Sports Week were introduced, by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rep. Claudia Tenny (R-NY), respectively. S. Res 267 and H. Res. 536 seek to celebrate the contributions of individual American female athletes; honor the coaches and parents who support female athletes; promote equal access to athletic opportunities for members of both sexes; support the commitment of the United States to supporting female athletes; and advance legislative efforts to protect single-sex sports.
Together at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Independent Women’s Voice joined members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), to discuss the importance of recognizing the week surrounding the anniversary of Title IX as National Women’s Sports Week. Also speaking to the significance of this legislative action were Riley Gaines, 12x NCAA All-American swimmer and advisor for Independent Women’s Voice; Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and ex-teammate of Lia Thomas; and Payton McNabb, recent high school graduate and softball, basketball, and volleyball athlete left permanently injured by biological male playing in a women’s volleyball match and spokeswoman for Independent Women’s Forum.
National Women’s Sports Week was initiated by Independent Women’s Voice’s sister organization, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), in 2022 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX. IWF created Women’s Sports Week to celebrate the incredible expansion of opportunities for female athletes since the passage of Title IX in 1972, recognize the role of Title IX in guaranteeing equal athletic opportunities, and champion female athletes of all ages.
Rep. Nancy Mace opened the press conference, saying, “We have a few women who have been affected by biological males in girls’ sports. With it being Womens’ Sports Week, it is important to bring this issue to light in any medium we can. I want to first off thank my colleagues for working on this issue, and I want to thank especially the young women you’re going to hear from this morning to actually have the courage to speak up and speak out and share their very personal stories about how their achievements have been robbed by biological men.”
“I’m proud to be here with IWV as a champion of women’s equality,” said Gaines. “I’m proud to stand here as a megaphone for thousands of female athletes who have reached out to me – parents, coaches, young girls aspiring to be champions to seniors who have witnessed the explosion of male participation in female sports. I’m proud to stand for all women of all backgrounds and to fight to ensure women’s sports remain female.”
McNabb said, “I’m standing here today to represent not just myself, but to ensure all female athletes – my little sister, my cousins, my teammates – have access to fair competition. By supporting the Women’s Sports Week resolutions, the members of the House and Senate have the opportunity to affirm that women deserve to compete on a level playing field without fear of injury.”
“I never imagined that I’d find myself in the position I am today, speaking out as one of Lia Thomas’s teammates about the need to keep female sports female and standing here outside the U.S. Capitol, urging our leaders to honor and respect female athletes’ equal opportunity, fairness, privacy, and safety. I hope more members of Congress join Senator Ernst and Representative Tenney in supporting this resolution. This one’s for the girls,” said Scanlan.
To watch the livestream of the press conference, click HERE.
IW’S EFFORTS TO PROTECT TITLE IX:
- IWF and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) filed a formal comment with the Department of Education opposing the Biden administration’s plan to gut Title IX by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports. Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), IWF’s c4 sister organization, drove more than 15,000 public comments to the Department. The comment can be found HERE.
- IWF and IWLC have produced a first of its kind report entitled, “Competition Report: Title IX, Male-Bodied Athletes, and the Threat To Women’s Sports,” to help athletic associations, policymakers, and courts understand the growing threat to female athletes. The second edition was released earlier this week. Read HERE.
- IWV launched an open letter and public sign-on campaign spearheaded by over 100 athletes ranging from the high school, collegiate, and Olympic levels urging athletic associations, policy makers, and government officials not to destroy female athletics. The letter can be found HERE.
- IWF’s Female Athlete Storytelling Drive featuring real stories from women athletes detailing the unfair personal experiences of competing with and against male-bodied athletes can be found HERE.
- On the final day of Women’s Sports Week, IWF will hold its third “Our Bodies, Our Sports” rally in Knoxville, TN on Sunday, June 25 during the USA Cycling National Championships in Knoxville, TN to petition the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and USA Cycling to Keep Women’s Cycling FEMALE. Learn more and RSVP HERE.
Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.