WASHINGTON — Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) on July 28 sent a letter to Secretary Miguel Cardona, encouraging the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to establish an Office for Gender Equity (OGE) within the agency.

The office would provide financial and technical assistance for states, school districts, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities to strengthen the national gender infrastructure and promote gender equity in education.

Rep. Doris Matsui and Sen. Mazie Hirono

Leading OGE would be a special assistant for gender equity, who would be responsible for supporting educational entities with fully implementing Title IX; providing Title IX coordinators with training, technical assistance, and support to fully carry out their roles and responsibilities; providing grants to implement programs and activities that are focused on reducing and preventing sex discrimination in education; identifying and disseminating information and evidence-based best practices for reducing and preventing sex discrimination; maintaining a resource center website to disseminate information and evidence-based best practices for achieving gender equity; and performing other activities to promote gender equity — among other things.

“ED has the authority to establish a special assistant for gender equity under the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA), and GEEA provides a detailed roadmap for how that special assistant can be an effective advocate for gender equity in education,” the lawmakers said. “Now more than ever, we must do what we can to promote gender equity. With these changes, we have an opportunity to advance gender equity in education through Title IX. We urge you to consider implementing provisions from the bill.”

The letter continues Matsui’s efforts to protect women’s rights and advance an economic agenda that supports women and families. Along with introducing the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) with Hirono in June, she also introduced the Give Our Athletes Level Salaries (GOALS) Act with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) on International Women’s Day in March. Matsui also co-sponsors the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Raise the Wage Act in the 117th Congress.

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