Hi, my name is Amy and I am the mother of two boys, ages 7 and 4. We live in Lake Macquarie, NSW.
I went to school in the USA, where I never had to wear a uniform but did have to follow dress codes. I went to a religious school in Colorado for years K-5, where girls had to wear dresses or skirts on Wednesdays for chapel service.
I hated Wednesdays.
It was much harder to play on the playground (especially climbing monkey bars, ladders, etc.) or play sport in a dress. Colorado also has snowy winters and I was never warm enough in a dress, even with my itchy wool stockings. When I was 11 my family moved to Arizona, where dresses weren’t required. I never wore a dress to school again.
I’m actually very happy with the uniform policy at my son’s school. It’s quite flexible and has unisex options. They have a school polo shirt that can be worn with any plain black shorts, pants, or skirt. Many of the girls prefer these options. There’s also a dress, and girls can choose to wear black leggings underneath. They can also wear any black shoes. The vast majority of kids wear joggers every day, so no one’s activity is restricted by stiff or uncomfortable shoes.
Girls’ school uniforms don’t affect me or my family directly anymore. However, I know how much I would have hated being forced to wear a dress every day. I don’t want my boys to grow up thinking girls are inherently boring or less athletic than boys, when in reality, girls may just be restricted by their clothes. I don’t want them to think girls have to wear a dress or skirt to be considered feminine, or that there is a “right” and “wrong” way for girls to look.
We live in a world where girls and women are fighting for equality in so many areas. This is a rare case where the solution is simple. What are we waiting for?