Celebrating Title IX and Women in the Postal Service

The enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act (Title IX) in 1972 was an outstanding achievement for our country that reshaped the lives and possibilities for many American women. This crucial piece of federal civil rights legislation confronted a pervasive culture of sex-based discrimination that had permeated every echelon of our education system and gave women the opportunity to participate more in our society.

The impact of Title IX cannot be overstated. Applied to any educational institution that receives federal funding, the law prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of sex. This right seems natural today, but 50 years ago, it was common for schools to mandate sex-based studies (“shop” for boys, “home economics” for girls) and support male-only sports programs. It was also common for colleges and universities to discriminate against women seeking admission.

Title IX prohibited systemic discrimination against female academics, which helped boost the number of female university professors. This, in turn, served as an inspiration for younger generations of female students.

Five decades on, Title IX continues to protect the rights of Americans facing discrimination.

I am proud to work for an institution that both honors the legacy of Title IX through its stamp program and embraces the law’s intent.

I recently sat down with the hosts of our “Mailin’ It” podcast to celebrate the role of women in the Postal Service. During my research, I’ve been struck not only by the strength and purpose of women who have left their mark on the Postal Service but, also by the world of opportunity offered by the Postal Service.

There are many inspiring stories of women throughout Postal Service history, and it was a pleasure to discuss some of them with the “Mailin’ It” hosts. But the story that I think epitomizes the Postal Service’s commitment to women’s rights is that of Megan Brennan, who in 2015 became the first female Postmaster General. Here was a woman who started her postal career delivering mail in Lancaster, PA, and rose to the highest rank through hard work, dedication, and a passion for public service.

That’s her achievement, and Megan is rightfully applauded for it. But it also represents what I feel is core to the Postal Service’s mission: We serve everyone. In a sense, we are everyone. The postal workforce is a representation of our nation, from city streets to rural roads, and we are unwavering in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Jenny Lynch, United States Postal Service Historian

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