Girls and their restrictive uniforms

Girls and their restrictive uniforms

The Australian Womensport and Recreation Association supports the petition of Victorian mother Simone Cariss for her six-year-old daughter to wear pants and shorts as per her school's boys' uniform instead of her girls' uniform.

 

Ms Cariss said her daughter’s school uniform - requiring girls to wear tunics and tights - “disadvantage girls like my daughter who want to play footy, run, climb and ride a bike to school. The boys get to wear pants and shorts which facilitate these activities far better than a dress. I won't stand for a policy that only encourages and promotes girls to be active on sports days.”

The Australian Womensport and Recreation Association supports the petition of Victorian mother Simone Cariss for her six-year-old daughter to wear pants and shorts as per her school's boys' uniform instead of her girls' uniform.

Ms Cariss said her daughter’s school uniform - requiring girls to wear tunics and tights - “disadvantage girls like my daughter who want to play footy, run, climb and ride a bike to school. The boys get to wear pants and shorts which facilitate these activities far better than a dress. I won't stand for a policy that only encourages and promotes girls to be active on sports days.”

AWRA’s charter highlights the barriers girls and women face in sport and physical activity. Sports uniforms are a well-recognised barrier for girl’s participation in organised sport, and school uniforms can equally be a barrier for girls when it comes to play and physical activity.

AWRA's president Carol Fox said by the time girls reach their teenage years they are already less active than their male peers and schools have a responsibility to allow female students to engage in play and physical activity and be healthy and active without being restricted by inhibitive clothing and out-of-date uniform policies.

"AWRA believes girls should at the very least have the choice to wear a uniform which does not inhibit them physically," Fox said.

“As a mother of a young girl I have seen and heard first-hand the restrictions a dress has had on her activities in the school ground.

“I encourage my daughter to find a way to make the uniform work with her activities, but with so many factors already discouraging girls to be active, it’s disappointing that schools have policies creating yet another barrier.
 
“I’d like to see a day when school boards take a broader view on inclusion in physical activity and uniform policy.” 

AWRA President Carol Fox is available for interview on 0419 574 574.