mandag 3. januar 2022

‘Boys and girls have equal freedom’: Kerala backs gender-neutral uniforms

It’s break time at Valayanchirangara primary school and the pupils run freely beneath the mango trees and palms. Girls race against the boys, hitching up their knee-length shorts, cargo green for girls and teal blue for boys, as they go. It’s been three years since this small government primary school introduced gender-neutral uniforms for its pupils, and in doing so set in motion a quiet revolution that is now sweeping across the south Indian state of Kerala. “I feel very thrilled and comfortable with the uniform. It’s quite distinct from that of my friends studying in nearby schools. I can play well with this dress,” said 10-year-old Sivananda Mahesh.

Inspired by the Valayanchirangara model, more than a dozen schools in Kerala have shifted to gender-neutral uniforms and the state’s ruling Communist party of India has pledged to support the movement being implemented across the state.