Author Archives: Amy Blain

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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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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The Dress Trap – Equality and the School Dress

We’re a long way from achieving gender equality however you look at it.  When we ask young girls what they think, they say they feel judged on their appearance and don’t feel equal to boys, not even at school. “More than half of Australian girls report that they are most often valued for their looks, not their brains and ability.” Schools give these reasons for dress and skirt only uniforms: “It’s tradition, it’s always been

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Dressing for Work: are school dresses preparation for future careers?

“Looking ‘business-like’, ‘dressing the part’, power-dressing’ in the corporate world and being ‘taken seriously’ in the halls of parliament.” Preparing schoolgirls for the world of work is still given as a reason for dress and skirt-only uniform policies. Let’s look at workplaces that require women to wear a dress… The world of work has transformed dramatically over the decades for women. No Australian workplace can insist on women wearing skirts or dresses, because it’s against

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Keeping Girls Active – Ditch the Dress

Woah!  A ‘D grade’ for overall physical activity – that’s a fail.  Our school children aren’t getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise.  They’re essentially getting a ‘D grade’ for both overall physical activity and sedentary behaviours.   That’s pretty alarming.  We can agree we ‘must try harder’ on getting school kids to be active.  Active for longer than sports lessons The school day is long and Health & Physical Education (HPE) lessons relatively short. 

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