Press Releases

Washington—The Senate last night unanimously approved a resolution introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to recognize National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

“Nearly 4 million girls and women participate in high school and college athletics, which has been shown to provide life-long benefits to their physical and mental health,” said Senator Feinstein. “However, we need to ensure that girls and women who play sports are protected. Passage of our legislation to require reporting of abuse allegations in all amateur athletics and implementation of new rules to prevent abuse is a significant step to ensure they’re safe.”

“When we celebrate girls and women in sports, we celebrate the best in America. Opening the doors to sports to the other half of the population gave us unexpected benefits; a more educated, healthier, and engaged workforce,” said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, CEO of Champion Women. “This 32nd year was extra special with both the House and Senate having just passed the Safe Sport Act, assuring that all kids in non-school sports; club and Olympic sports, will be much less likely to be abused, either physically, emotionally or sexually. That’s all the more reason to celebrate!” 

            Text of the resolution follows:

            Whereas athletic participation helps develop self-discipline, initiative, confidence, and leadership skills, and opportunities for athletic participation should be available to all individuals;


            Whereas, because the people of the United States remain committed to protecting equality, it is imperative to eliminate the existing disparities between male and female youth athletic programs;


            Whereas the share of athletic participation opportunities of high school girls has increased more than sixfold since the passage of title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) (referred to in this preamble as “title IX”), but high school girls still experience—

            (1) a lower share of athletic participation opportunities than high school boys; and

            (2) a lower level of athletic participation opportunities than high school boys enjoyed almost 50 years ago;


            Whereas female participation in college sports has nearly tripled since the passage of title IX, but female college athletes still only comprise 44 percent of the total collegiate athlete population;


            Whereas, in 1972, women coached more than 90 percent of collegiate women’s teams, but now women coach less than 50 percent of all collegiate women teams, and there is a need to restore women to those positions to ensure fair representation and provide role models for young female athletes;


            Whereas the long history of women in sports in the United States—

            (1) features many contributions made by female athletes that have enriched the national life of the United States; and

            (2) includes inspiring figures, such as Gertrude Ederle, Wilma Rudolph, Althea Gibson, Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, and Patty Berg, who overcame difficult obstacles in their own lives to—

                        (A) advance participation by women in sports; and

                        (B) set positive examples for the generations of female athletes who continue to inspire people in the United States today;


            Whereas the United States must do all it can to support the bonds built between all athletes to break down the barriers of discrimination, inequality, and injustice;


            Whereas girls and young women in minority communities are doubly disadvantaged because—

            (1) schools in minority communities overall have fewer athletic opportunities; and

            (2) the limited resources for athletic opportunities in those communities are not evenly distributed between male and female students;


            Whereas, with the recent passage of bills such as the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (S. 534, 115th Congress), Congress has taken steps to—

            (1) protect female athletes from the crime of sexual abuse; and

            (2) empower athletes to report sexual abuse when it occurs; and


            Whereas, with the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, it is more important than ever to ensure the safety and well-being of athletes by protecting those athletes from the crime of sexual abuse, which has harmed so many young athletes within youth athletic organizations: Now, therefore, be it


            Resolved, That the Senate supports—


            (1) observing “National Girls & Women in Sports Day” on February 7, 2018, to recognize—

                        (A) the female athletes who represent schools, universities, and the United States in their athletic pursuits; and

                        (B) the vital role that the people of the United States have in empowering girls and women in sports;

            (2) marking the observation of National Girls & Women in Sports Day with appropriate programs and activities, including legislative efforts to protect young athletes from the crime of sexual abuse so that future generations of female athletes will not have to experience the pain that so many female athletes have had to endure; and

            (3) all ongoing efforts to—

                        (A) promote equality in sports and access to athletic opportunities for girls and women; and

                        (B) support the commitment of the United States to expanding athletic participation for all girls and future generations of women athletes.