GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Fifty years ago, Title IX was signed into law with the intent of ending gender-based discrimination in educational institutions. 

YWCA President Charisse Mitchell calls it one of the country’s most important and effective pieces of legislation to improve the well-being of women and girls. The focus was on schools: It was a 37-word clause included in a 1972 education bill. 

Over the past five decades, Title IX has been important in ensuring that opportunity and access is not denied based on gender. It has created opportunities in athletics, earnings and admission to institutions of  higher education.

Mitchell said we have come a long way but there is still work to be done. She said Title IX will play an important role in continuing to create safe school environments, equality in salaries and gender representation including coaches, educators and college presidents.

For the full conversation with YWCA President Charisse Mitchell, watch the video in the player above.