“Girls can wear shorts or pants, they just choose not to.” Really? It doesn’t sound likely does it? In schools, particularly all-girls schools, is it really likely that none of the students wants to wear shorts or pants!? Let’s put it out there that maybe something else is really going on here. If girls are choosing not to wear shorts and pants when they could, it probably has more to do with the stigma around being different. Or, that the shorts and pants are not designed well with comfort and style in mind. Who wants to be the one that stands out? It has to be really hard to be the pant-wearing or short-wearing student who looks different and faces the judgment of their school community.
We know there are ‘uniform warriors’ out there, like Girls’ Uniform Agenda’s young activists Marlie, Sofia, Sophie and Asha, whose strength of feeling and craving for freedom of movement matters more than fitting in. But, why should they be pant and short-wearing girls out there by themselves? Wouldn’t it be great to see support for those uniform warriors? Other students joining them, either because they do really want to wear shorts and pants, or just showing solidarity. Making it known that the school community respects everyone making their own choices about what they want to wear.
Saying that girls look prettier in dresses or skirts; that it’s tradition; that “it’s the way it’s always been”; that girls can, but don’t choose this option, means that we’re prioritizing everything other than the girls who want a genuine choice of wearing shorts and pants. It’s not a big deal, sure – not for those that aren’t affected, but for those who are, it is a big deal and it’s so very, very easy to fix.
Get Those Pants On For International Day of the Girl
Let’s celebrate International Day of the Girl Child (Wednesday 11 October) by getting your shorts or pants on for the girls that do want choice. We want girls to be comfortable, we want them to focus on learning without being preoccupied by their skirts or dresses. Why would we want anything else for our girls? So, let’s do this. Get out there school girls and take a photo of yourself with your friends wearing shorts or pants, holding our Girls’ Uniform Agenda banner and give a shout-out to your school. Let’s celebrate having choice for girls to wear shorts and pants to school.
If your school still doesn’t offer the option of wearing shorts and pants and you want to change that, then print off a We Want the Choice of Shorts/Pants banner to help schools understand that this is important to you and your fellow girls.
Get your shorts and pants on for the girls, because all girls deserve the freedom of choice.