WASHINGTON — Title IX, the landmark law that sought to end gender discrimination in sports, is 40 years old but advocates for women’s sports want more equality in high school to get young girls moving.

To mark the 26th annual National Girls and Women In Sports Day, several prominent female athletes and women’s sports leaders called for public access to high school sports participation data.

“Even though we have seen tons of women and girls come out to play in the past 40 years, the law’s work is not done,” said Neena Chaudhry, a senior lawyer at the National Women’s Law Center, at a Capitol Hill briefing.

According to Chaudhry, girls receive 40 percent of athletic opportunities but make up half of the high school population.

In a survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, women had 1.3 million fewer opportunities to participate in sports.

Members of the National Girls and Women In Sports Coalition and female athletes spent the day talking with lawmakers about a new bill to improve equality in sports participation at the secondary level.

“What we are doing here today is trying to get more transparency in the numbers,” said Sarah Hughes, an Olympic gold medalist figure skater.

The bill introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. would require high schools to publish the gender of their athletes and the amount of funding individual programs receive.

To advocate for the bill, Hughes was joined by Grete Eliassen, a freestyle skiing world champion at the Winter X Games, and Donna de Varona, an Olympic swimmer.

Slaughter said colleges have to publish their funding of athletic teams but high schools do not, while the gap between men’s and women’s participation in sports in college is shrinking, but the same is not true of high schools.

According to Slaughter, the reason is transparency.  “Sunshine is the best disinfectant,” she said in a prepared statement.  “Where there is no public accountability, there is a growing gap in athletic opportunities for young student athletes.”

Betsey Stevenson, a Princeton economics professor, said Title IX is not about college athletics.  It’s about young women  staying physically active.

To highlight the importance of physical activity and athletics, Cornell McClellan, the personal trainer to the Obama family, took a literal approach.  He had the entire room stand up and do exercises before his remarks.

McClellan, a member of the President’s Council on Fitness wants to end the belief that movement is “optional.”

“We were created to move and our body is only going to function best when we do,” he said.

Betsey Stevenson has conducted research that she says proves that statement is especially true for girls.  According to her findings, communities where fewer girls play sports have lower female math scores, and women who played sports as children got better jobs with higher salaries.

Her study shows that a 10 percent increase in female participation in sports results in a 2 percent increase in the rise of female labor.  She also found that women who play sports are more likely to work in “male-dominated occupations.”

Stevenson compared athletic participation and labor statistics of men before and after Title IX during the 1970’s to those of women’s participation and labor statistics before and after Title IX to get her findings.

“Title IX still matters today,” Stevenson said.  “When we limit girl’s opportunities to play sports, we aren’t just limiting them as children, we are limiting their entire lives.”