A government school in Kerala has approved gender neutral uniforms for its students, amid protests against the move. The state’s education minister Dr R Bindu noted the development as a “radical step forward” in an age of gender equality. As per reports, all students of plus-one classes have been permitted to wear trousers and shirts per choice.
The policy has been implemented at the Balussery Government Girls Higher Secondary School, which admits students of all genders for its higher secondary classes despite the indication in its name. A school representative mentioned there are 200 girl students and 60 boys in the batch that will be donning gender neutral uniforms.
Plus-two girl students will, however, retain their salwar or skirt uniform options with no choice for trousers.
“At a time when the world is heralding an age of gender justice and equality, Balussery Government Girls HSS has taken a radical step forward. Glad to have had the opportunity to officially inaugurate the school’s new gender neutral uniform, which students have welcomed with open arms,” Dr Bindu, who inaugurated the new policy, said in a statement.
Suggested Reading: Skirt Or Pants At School: Can We Let The Students Decide?
The decision for gender neutral uniforms has caused a stir among some sections that claim it would outrage the modesty of girl students. A Muslim committee, as per NDTV, agitated near the school raising concerns about the “liberal” ideology such uniforms would promote and allegedly termed it anti-democratic.
Dr Bindu, making a sharp comment on the protesting parties, said, “Those who love children will never oppose such progressive changes.”
The initiative for uniform change is called ‘Ore Swathanthryam, Ore Sameepanam,’ which translates to equality in freedom. According to a spokesperson for the school, as quoted by New Indian Express, students can choose the sleeve length of their shirts and whether or not they want to don overcoats, aligned to what they are comfortable with.
Kerala is leading Indian states in reforming school uniform cultures. The Valayanchirangara primary government school introduced ‘unisex’ uniforms – comprising lengthy shorts and shirts – for all genders earlier this year in October.
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.