Unisex Uniform, The issues that come to mind when it comes to government efforts to ensure gender justice are mostly those about crime prevention or the establishment of gender-neutral toilets. Kerala, on the other hand, has gone a step further and believes in a comprehensive approach to promoting gender equality in the state. It also wants to engage a critical segment of the population, the children.
So, while a portion of the country is outraged over a teacher’s training manual aimed at making the country’s schools more responsive to and inclusive of all genders, the Left government in this southern state has declared that it will support the idea of neutral gender uniforms in schools, a concept that was perhaps unimaginable for students and academics alike.
Valayanchirangara government Lower Primary School, which has 754 students and is located near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district, has taken the first step toward gender neutrality by introducing a new uniform for all students: 3/4th shorts and shirt, regardless of gender.
The new dress code was implemented in the lower primary section of the school in 2018, and it was stretched to all students this academic year when the schools reopened following the pandemic-induced lockdown.
The students are excited about the new uniform, according to K P Suma, the school’s headmistress, and the girl students will now feel more confident and comfortable participating in extra-curricular activities.
Parents of the students initially expressed concerns, including how the girls would be able to use the toilet, according to Vidya Mukundan, a Kochi-based designer and aspiring filmmaker. They decided to increase the length of the shorts and make a 3/4th for all of the students after considering various designs.
A parent who did not want to be identified told PTI that her daughter no longer needs to be concerned about engaging in any physical activities such as running, jumping, dancing, or anything else.