1969 December 15

“A Matter of Simple Justice”: Nixon Administration Report on Women’s Equity


“A Matter of Simple Justice” was a report on women’s rights, released on this day by President Richard Nixon’s administration. The 77-page report declared that the federal government “should be as seriously concerned about sex discrimination as with race discrimination.” To that end, it called on the Nixon administration to convene a national conference on women’s rights and for Congress to develop legislation to eliminate all existing forms of sex discrimination.

Despite Nixon’s reputation as a conservative who was hostile to civil rights, he was quite liberal on a number of social issues (a point that the later generation of neo-conservatives have always pointed out). Nixon, for example, supported the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would have granted equality to women, from the time he entered Congress in 1946. He reaffirmed that support as president on March 18, 1972. He also supported government-sponsored family planning services, signing that into law on December 26, 1970. Finally, he signed the Education Amendments of 1972 on June 23, 1972, which included the important Title IX prohibiting sex discrimination by educational institutions in athletics.

Learn about the report at the President Nixon Library: http://nixonfoundation.org/2012/06/a-matter-of-simple-justice-2/

For a critical perspective on Nixon from a distinguished historian, read: Joan Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered (1994)

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