Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.
Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include sexual harassment, the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics, and discrimination based on pregnancy. To enforce Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education maintains an Office for Civil Rights, with headquarters in Washington, DC and 12 offices across the United States.
Title IX has been called "the most important step for gender equality since the 19th Amendment gave [women] the right to vote."
Though Title IX has been most visible as it has been applied to providing gender equity in sports, it applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs or activities. This means, for example that college courses that had been offered solely to one sex were made available to everyone; that since sexual violence and discrimination deprive individuals of equal access to education, prevention and resolution of sexual misconduct has become a key concern of Title IX; and that Title IX requires that colleges that receive federal funds must treat pregnant and parenting students the same way they treat other students who are similarly able or unable to participate in school activities.