What results would you get if you surveyed parents, teachers and principals and asked: should girls be forced to wear dresses and skirts to school?
While it appears blatantly discriminatory, and Australian states have anti-discrimination legislation preventing it, many schools are still doing this.
There must be widespread support from parents, teachers and principals, for girls to have uniform choice, surely?
South Australia says no to forcing girls to wear dresses and skirts
Thanks to the South Australian Association of State School Organisations (SAASSO) we now know, in South Australia at least, support for forcing girls into skirts and dresses at state schools, is virtually non-existent.
SAASSO’s 2017 survey asked South Australian state school parents, teachers and principals whether girls should be required to wear the traditional girls’ school uniform. The results showed just above 90% (of 1100+ respondents), believed girls should not have to wear skirts and dresses.
Let that sink in for a moment…
90%…Just about every single person asked, felt it was unacceptable to require girls to wear skirts and dresses to school. That’s a clearly definitive outcome.
No support from Principals to force girls’ into skirts and dresses
Further, 100% of principals surveyed said that female students should not be required to wear a girls’ uniform. And 50% of deputy principals viewed girls’ uniforms as discriminatory.
Of all respondents, one in three believed girl-specific school uniforms were discriminatory against female students. The respondents who felt this way were in equal numbers female and male.
In South Australia, there is a clear and present desire that state schools offer shorts and pants to girls as their everyday school uniform. While South Australia is known as a progressive state, we would hope those survey results would be closely replicated across the country.
Time for change
We know it’s no longer acceptable for girls to be forced to wear dresses and skirts to school. Women wear shorts and pants to work, and girls wear shorts and pants everywhere outside of school. Uniform clothing restrictions for girls based on gender, are outdated and unwanted.
Girls’ Uniform Agenda is a national group formed to tackle this issue head on. School by school, state by state; we will not rest until every school offers girls choices in their everyday school uniforms. At a minimum, this must include shorts and pants for girls.
How you can help
Please visit our website and read our Case Studies that demonstrate how over many, many decades, archaic uniform policies have demeaned and harmed girls. Most importantly, we ask you to join us in action. Download the letters on our website and send them to your local school/s and your state Education Minister
Girls and women across this country have had enough! Change however, won’t come by wishing for it. We must make our voices heard, and writing to principals and ministers, those who have power in our education system, is a powerful way to create change.
Let’s come together, stand up for the rights of girls and require schools and the principals who run them, to do what they know is right. Principals, teachers and parents want change. Let’s give them the nudge needed to make it happen.