Author Archives: Amanda Mergler

Sisters are doing it for themselves, while Education Ministers do little

I would like to introduce you to Marlie. Marlie is not an Education Minster. She is however a powerful 8 year old girl who lives in South Australia and is in Grade 3. Marlie hates dresses, and has not chosen to wear one since she was 3 years old. At her Catholic primary school however, Marlie was required to wear a dress, in summer and in winter, just like all her female classmates. That was

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Girls’ school uniforms and sex discrimination.

I was telling a colleague recently about the work Girls’ Uniform Agenda does in advocating that all girls in all schools across Australia have the option of shorts and pants as everyday school wear. My colleague looked at me and stammered, “but, but, don’t schools have to allow that? Don’t we have legislation that means they are required to do that already?” Legal loopholes I have faced this comment before. In fact when I first

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It takes a village

When you fight for something you believe in it’s a bit like being on a continual roller coaster – you have ups, and you have downs. When you have an up, you realise you need to seize that moment and roll around in it, drinking it in and allowing it to power you up for the fight that’s still ahead. So, in that spirit, allow me to roll around in our latest win! Change across

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The pink tax on school uniforms

Have you heard about the “pink tax?” For a number of years now, various groups have been drawing attention to the fact that there’s inequality in what people pay for gender specific products. This hidden tax often makes the “female” version of popular products more expensive than the “male” version. Get Up began raising awareness about the pink tax back in 2015, when they invited people to submit photos of everyday items where identical or

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What harms girls is to deny them their rights

*Sam is a 12 year old in year 7, attending a private P-12 school.  While at primary school, Sam had the option of wearing a gender neutral uniform, and she wore that every day. In addition, outside of school Sam wore shorts and pants only, and had not worn a dress since she was 6. That all changed however when Sam started high school. She was forced, alongside all the other girls in year 7,

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“No-one has ever asked before” – calling BS!

  We at Girls’ Uniform Agenda have heard from parents around the country who have been fighting for shorts and pants for girls at school over many years.  Female activists have noted that “the quickest way to silence a mouth is to treat it as if none have come before”. Principals use this ploy regularly, and tell girls and parents that no-one has ever asked before for girls to be allowed to wear shorts or

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Research on school uniforms – it’s clear, they disadvantage girls

As a researcher, I value evidence when considering my position on important issues. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading a Masters of Education thesis completed in 2016 by Hayley Johnston-Coutts called Gender and school uniform: a case study in fairness and equity. This research involved a detailed examination of one Australian independent private school and its uniform, undertaken via individual interviews with six (6) members of the College Executive; six (6) Teachers of the

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Choice for Girls in School Uniforms: Refuting Those who are Opposed

As a campaigner for the rights of girls to have shorts and pants included as choices in their everyday school uniform options, I have heard a range of arguments as to why this is unacceptable. Some parents and educators believe that it is perfectly acceptable to force girls to wear dresses and skirts to school. In this article, I take a look at each of the arguments we at Girls’ Uniform Agenda have heard to

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