Take action to support the Girls’ Uniform Agenda
Today marks International Women’s Day and our union is working together to support the Girls’ Uniform Agenda, who are fighting for fair and equitable uniform policies in schools.
A vast amount of schools in the non-government sector across Queensland and the Northern Territory do not have the option for girls wear pants to school.
Caryl Davies, IEUA-QNT Organiser and Equity Committee member, said this year’s theme More Powerful Together highlights the importance of collective action for creating equitable working and learning environments.
“As a union we are encouraging schools to recognise that girls have a right to feel comfortable in the clothes they wear to school,” Ms Davies said.
“This needs to include the option of pants or shorts.”
Why is it important?
Research has proven that wearing skirts or dresses may negatively affect girls’ learning outcomes and their physical ability to arrive at school. If girls are focussing on the length of their skirts, whether anyone can see their underwear or about freezing in winter, they are not focussing on learning.
It can also have a negative impact on health and physical activity levels, as skirts and dresses severely inhibit girls’ ability to participate in active play and sport. Physical activity should be encouraged to improve long term health.
Forcing girls to wear dresses or skirts without appropriate alternative options reinforces harmful gender stereotypes. It can imply that there is something improper about girls wearing pants or shorts and can negatively impact self-esteem and mental health.
Show your action
The International Women’s Day annual study found that education is the area people think equality can be achieved first.
We can empower all women and girls if we work together for equal opportunity to lead, earn and learn.
If you are wearing pants today in support of the Girls’ Uniform Agenda, take photos of your action and share them with the hashtag #ICanChooseWhyCantShe and tag @ieuqnt @girlsuniformagenda.
You can also send photos of your Chapter action to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in IEU-QNT publications and social media.
For more information on IWD 2019 and other ways to be part of creating equality for all, visit the UN Women Australia website.
For more information about the Girls’ Uniform Agenda and ways to change your school rules, visit the Girls' Uniform Agenda website.