Is it time to introduce gender-neutral uniforms?

A Sydney school has agreed to offer gender-neutral uniforms after a major push from a fed up mother.

 

On a mission to overturn “archaic traditions”, Melissa Mibus put in a “conscientious objection” at John Palmer Public School in northwest Sydney so her two daughters could wear pants during winter.

Discussing the hot topic on Sunrise, guest panelist Prue MacSween said forcing schoolgirls to wear dresses in the freezing cold was a completely outdated practice.

“I had to check the calendar to see if it was 1817 or 2017… This is absolutely ridiculous that schools have these archaic traditions, where girls have to be in dresses,” she told Sunrise.

Melissa Mibus with her daughter Claire. Source: Sunrise

Radio 4BC host Ben Davis said he had the same conversation with Sydney Olympic gold medallist Natalie Cook, who said she grew up hating the limitations that female school uniforms placed on her activeness.

“They kept telling her no you have to wear the skirt, she would be turning up in shorts and active wear and that is what kept her playing,” Mr Davis told Sunrise.

“She said she wouldn’t have won a gold medal if the school kept telling her to wear a dress.”

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Sunrise guests Prue MacSween and Ben Davis said it made sense to introduce gender neutral-uniforms. Source: Daily Telegraph/Sunrise

After successfully taking the matter to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Ms Mibus is now pushing for all our Australia’s schools to offer gender-neutral uniforms.

Education Minister Rob Stokes echoed this sentiment, telling the Daily Telegraph he agreed girls should be able to wear pants, but felt the current policy was good enough.

“It’s bloody ridiculous. Girls should have the option to wear shorts or pants as uniform to schools if they want to. It’s just common sense,” he said.

For more 'Hot Topic' discussions, tune in to Sunrise from 5am on weekdays.

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