Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:28

Restrictive school uniform policies may be discrimination

The Victorian Government has vowed to overhaul uniform policies in state schools so that girls aren't forced to wear dresses and skirts.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton said that preventing girls from wearing shorts and pants to school could amount to unlawful discrimination.

While schools have a right under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to determine their school uniform, they must take into account the views of the school community.

"In 2017, when women all over the world wear pants or shorts every day, the Commission would encourage all schools to provide girls with the option of choosing appropriate uniform attire, which would not be limited to dresses or skirts," she said.

Research by Girls' Uniform Agenda, a group of Australian parents who want to remove "rigid gender stereotypes", has found that one in four Victorian government schools have policies requiring girls to wear skirts or dresses.

The group argues that these policies interfere with learning and physical activity, encourage damaging and archaic gender stereotypes and are out of step with modern social expectations where women in the workforce have choices in their uniform options.

If anyone believes that the standards set by schools and educational authorities are discriminatory, they can call the Commission on 1300 292 153 or submit an online complaint form.

Read the full article in The Age"Girls win right to wear shorts and trousers to all Victorian state schools"

Media contact

Kat O'Shea
Mobile: 0459 114 657
Email: Kat.O'

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