Author Archives: Amanda Mergler

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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Girls’ school uniforms: debunking the myth that choice currently exists

Since we launched Girls’ Uniform Agenda (GUA) in February 2017, a common response from the wider public has been surprise that schools do not allow girls to wear shorts and long pants as everyday wear in girls’ school uniforms. Each member of GUA has heard comments such as, “My daughter’s school lets girls wear shorts. They all do these days!” “What do you mean you have to fight for the right for girls to wear

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Girls’ School Uniforms: Why We Need Girls’ Uniform Agenda

In early January, 2017, I published an article in The Conversation about girls’ school uniforms, asking why we still make girls wear skirts and dresses to school? The article was read by over 115 000 people, and I was contacted by a range of parents across the country. Most notably I was contacted by Simone Cariss, a mother from Victoria who had started a petition after her daughter had been refused the right to wear

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