The National Organization for Women (NOW) and Legal Momentum filed complaints with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week charging that job training programs funded through the Bush Administration’s Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative violate Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in education programs receiving federal funding. On Monday, Wade Horn, the assistant HHS secretary overseeing the Fatherhood Initiative, announced his resignation. In addition to violating Title IX, in their complaint, NOW and Legal Momentum also accused HHS of cronyism for granting $5 million to a fatherhood organization previously run by Horn.
“The Bush Administration has awarded over $80 million to ‘men only’ job training programs, in violation of our nation’s laws against sex discrimination,” said Kathy Rodgers, president of Legal Momentum. “Both in the White and in the African American communities, women earn much less than men, are much more often poor, and are much more likely to be custodial single parents. Excluding women from these training programs does families a tremendous disservice.”
“[W]hile the HHS is actively ensuring that women’s access to contraception, abortion, and other reproductive healthcare is being stripped to nothing, it’s simultaneously pumping millions into job-training and other education programs explicitly and solely for men,” said NOW president Kim Gandy. According to NOW, Horn has argued that single parent families should only receive social services after all married families have been served.