Before 1972, only one in 27 girls in America played in secondary school varsity sports.
Today, two in five play.
What has changed ever since? In 1972 Congress passed Title IX, a civil rights law that requires that boys and girls receive equal educational and athletic opportunities in schools that receive federal funds.
The legislation opened doors to thousands of young female athletes, including Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who was only 10 when the law passed. It helped her win a swimming scholarship to Duke University; she went on to win three gold medals in swimming at the 1984 Olympics.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “sports programs teach girls of every income level and ethnic background about leadership and teamwork.”
In 2012, the secretary launched a worldwide initiative to empower girls to succeed in life through sports.