Author Archives: Amy Blain

Schools Ban Pants and Shorts for Girls

Said no headline ever. Requiring girls to wear dresses and skirts, with no other options, is a ban on shorts and pants.   We see Australian headlines of schools banning skirts and dresses; and the absolute outrage in the UK following the decision of 40 secondary schools to ban skirts.  We don’t see headlines of the shorts and pants ban for girls.  Yet, girls still can’t wear shorts and pants in schools across Australia, in

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The Long and Skort of it

Skorts are not shorts; culottes are not pants.  Seems obvious, but some schools still resist offering the more practical, affordable and comfortable shorts and pants options for girls.  The perfect uniform choices for boys are somehow unsuitable for girls.  Let’s face it – the skort and culottes are often preferred by schools because they look like skirts.  They often do look like a skirt, and are only slightly more functional.  They can be flimsy, floppy

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Alumniati: Former Students Call for Pants & Shorts for Girls

We hear school alumni can strongly resist uniform change; preferring the skirt and dress-wearing traditions ‘of their day’.  Peter however, shows how the school alumni can be a powerful force for change.  Having battled his daughter’s school in the ACT for girls to be able to wear pants, Peter turned his attention to a different state altogether, to his former school.  Seeing that his old school didn’t offer pants and shorts for girls, he asked

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Young Uniform Activists – Inspiring Change

We love our young uniform activists!   There’s no doubt that they are change agents – transforming their school uniform policies so girls at their schools have the choice of wearing pants and shorts as their everyday uniform.  This is a great story of how Sofia, our dynamic young uniform activist from WA, inspired 10 year old Lou Lou.  Lou Lou was so impressed with Sofia that she gave a speech for a public speaking

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Girls Have A Right to Education Free From Discrimination

One parent’s fight, backed by the Anti-Discrimination Board, for her daughters’ rights to have the choice of wearing shorts and pants to school.  Missy M’s three daughters were very cold and uncomfortable in their dress uniform.  So, Missy asked the school principal if shorts and long pants for girls could be added to the uniform list.  Missy tells her story below: “She [the principal] said no, just like that, a straight, flat out no! I then

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Why Boy-Cut Uniform Doesn’t Cut it for Girls

Schools are increasingly responding to calls to give girls the choice of wearing shorts and pants, or to provide gender neutral uniforms.  Some schools do this by simply taking away the labels of ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ from existing uniforms and ‘ta-da!’ – gender neutral uniform.  This often means these schools are actually offering the former ‘boys’ uniform – boys’ shorts and pants – to all students. Taking away labels isn’t the answer This doesn’t work

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Prizewinning: Judge Us On Ability, Not On Dress

Your daughter’s about to go on stage for her public school’s awards’ ceremony, everyone should be excited.  Except they’re not, a daughter in tears, an exasperated mother and a principal bursting with anger.  This story shows that even when schools offer uniform choice, the shaming, guilt and pressure  on girls to conform to gender expectations is ever-present.  And girls’ appearance can still outweigh ability. When schools offer choice – it needs to be authentic and

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Who wears the pants? Whoever wants to!

Story from a Young Uniform Activist Fight for what you believe in, because change is necessary. Young activist Fifteen-year-old, Jess Insall, from Glasgow, Scotland, shows just how simple uniform change can be:  “Instead of saying ‘girls wear this, boys wear that’ schools can simply say ‘pupils may wear either this, or that’.” Jess shares her story below to inspire other young uniform activists to speak out and stand up for their right to wear pants (trousers):

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