WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) celebrates the 35th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, a day to champion female athletes and to recognize the power of sports to unlock female potential.

This year, it is more important than ever that we recognize the importance of women’s sports and single-sex athletic competition. 

“Women and girls have fought long and hard for equal athletic opportunities,” said Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center and mother to three female athletes. “We believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. But in the realm of competitive sport, true equality requires single-sex competition, and we must not allow male-bodied athletes to take athletic opportunities away from females.”

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, there has been an explosion in women’s sports participation, a 545% increase at the college level and a 990% increase in the number of women participating in high school athletics. But, thanks to a new executive order signed by President Joe Biden, that progress now is in jeopardy. The order applies the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County to all federal anti-discrimination statutes. When applied to athletics, Bostock will prohibit coaches from considering the sex of players in determining who gets to compete. Under this approach, schools will be forced to allow male athletes and transgender women (who were born male) to try out for and compete on women’s teams.

“Science matters,” Inez Stepman, senior policy analyst at IWF, added. “Biological sex differences are real. When males are allowed to compete on women’s teams that have limited roster spots, women lose out. And in head-to-head competitions, female athletes will lose to biological male athletes most of the time.”

Independent Women’s Forum is speaking with women and girls across the country, collecting their personal stories about what being, raising, or watching a female athlete means to them, and sharing their concerns about President Biden’s executive order and the considerable impact it will have on the future of women’s sports.

Read more about Title IX and women’s sports from IWF HERE.