Now, gender neutral uniforms for Plus One students of Balussery school

Students of the Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Balussery, in gender neutral uniform.

Students of the Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Balussery, in gender neutral uniform. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The concept of gender neutral uniforms in schools is being extended to the higher secondary section too in the State, with the Plus One students of Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Balussery, Kozhikode, joining the bandwagon.

The higher secondary section of the school is open to both girls and boys though the name of the institution may give another impression. It was the Valayanchirangara Government Lower Primary School near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district that launched a unisex uniform for the first time in the State. The students wear three-fourth shorts and shirts to the school.

R. Indu, principal of the Balussery school, said the proposal to have a gender neutral uniform for the Plus One classes came from the students in Plus Two classes. It was discussed in the staff council and parent-teacher association meetings and approved. The students have already started wearing shirts and trousers.

Meanwhile, the issue is being discussed on social media platforms as well in the wake of the opposition from certain student organisations. Journalist and academic Arun Kumar wrote in Facebook that gender-neutral uniform would dismantle the consciousness that enabled men to gaze the human body as a commodity. Academic N.V. Mohammed Rafi wrote that girl students were asked to wear a special coat in many schools. “It is part of a training to view female breasts as a sexual organ alone,” he wrote.

Quoting Simone de Beauvoir and Michel Foucault, he said social institutions intervened in the lives of children at various stages and used their power in different ways. Women were being defined and confined as a body fit for procreation alone, growing up with her individual character and intellectual capabilities cancelled. The gender neutral uniform was an idea against that, said Mr. Rafi.

Minister for Higher Education R. Bindu will officially declare the initiative ‘Ore Swathanthryam, Ore Sameepanam’ (Equality in Freedom, Approach) open through the online mode at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday. Actor Rima Kallingal and police officer N.A. Vinaya will join the Google Meet session along with K.M. Sachin Dev, MLA.

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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 10:31:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/now-gender-neutral-uniforms-for-plus-one-students-of-balussery-school/article37954516.ece