100 signatures reached
To: Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, The Hon. Adrian Piccoli, The Hon Kate Jones, Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff, The Hon. James Merlino, The Hon. Susan Close, The Hon. Peter Collier
School uniforms = Gender discrimination
Dear Ministers of Education, please provide guidelines for primary schools regarding the phasing in of a gender neutral school uniforms to be worn by all students.
Why is this important?
I believe that gender discriminatory clothing is not appropriate in primary schools, or schools in general. I believe that if we want equality for the sexes then here is the best place to start.
Why is it that the majority of school uniforms for girls is a dress or skirt? It's all very well encouraging kids to climb trees and explore their environment, but how is this possible in a dress? This is a subconscious message that girls need to keep two feet on the ground and knees together. How is this appropriate learning attire? Would shorts not be more appropriate for sitting cross legged on the floor, doing sport or climbing trees?
Why is it that we assign gender at such a young age? Why do we force children into masculine and feminine roles before they are, in fact, men or women? While society has a lot to answer for with only pink tutus or army greens to choose from in clothing stores, this should not be the case in school uniforms.
When I was at high school I hated wearing the netball skirt as our sports uniform. As a show of rebellion I and several other girls (followed later by a significant portion of the school) went home and made shorts from the tartan material that our school skirts were made of and wore those instead. Rather than encouraging this independent show of equality with the boys the school tried to ban it. Have we not moved forward from then?
My friend's gender-creative daughter hates wearing dresses. She is about to start school and the uniform is the same dress that I wore to primary school 30 years ago. Should she be forced to wear the dress, to be told she can't have an education if she doesn't? Should she be able to wear her older brother's old uniform, but at the risk of her being bullied for being different? This would not be an issue if the uniform was the same for boys and girls.
I would like a review of school uniform policy. I would like a single, gender neutral, school uniform worn by all students. I believe this is a nation wide issue and a relatively simple issue to fix.
Thank you for your help on this matter.