Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“Why can't I wear pants like the boys?”: six-year-old girl is finally allowed to wear trousers to school

cariss.JPG

A six-year-old girl has finally been allowed to wear trousers to school after her mother launched an online petition calling for gender equality in choice of uniform.

Asha Cariss, from Melbourne, Australia, has today been granted the right to wear trousers temporarily while her Catholic school reviews their policy on school uniform.

Her mother, Simone Cariss, said the school had originally dismissed her request for Asha to be allowed to wear trousers rather than the regulatory tunic or dress. Writing on the online petition, which has rapidly garnered over 12,000 signatures (at the time of writing), she called the decision a "breach" of anti-discrimination legislation and questioned why "schools can so blatantly enforce that girls must wear a dress when there are other options available to other students in the same school (i.e. the boys get to wear pants)".

Simone Cariss wants her daughter to be able to wear trousers like the boys in her school

Simone Cariss wants her daughter to be able to wear trousers like the boys in her school

Describing how her daughter, who is in year one at school, "constantly" asks "why can't I wear pants like the boys?", she wrote "'Because you're a girl' is not something I am prepared to say to my 6 year old daughter".

"A daughter who I have raised to believe she can do and conquer anything, regardless of her gender, and that she can like what she wants to like and not what gender stereotypes dictate she should like," she continued.

Cariss also said the main reason her daughter wanted to wear trousers to school was so that she could play sport with her male classmates, without being weighed down by a heavy tunic or having to worry about the risk of bearing her underwear in a dress.

"My daughter, like many other girls, simply wants the choice to wear pants like half of her peers, with the warmth and freedom to be active at school and travelling to/from school. 

"Dresses 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."

Simone Cariss with her daughter Asha

Simone Cariss with her daughter Asha

Cariss argued that a policy in which girls are not allowed to wear trousers to school could even constitute a health risk, as it prevents them from being as active as their male counterparts.

Referencing a recent Australian Government initiative to get girls to be more active, prompted by research that showed girls were only half as active as boys, she wrote, "I won't stand for a policy that only encourages and promotes girls to be active on sports days (at my daughters school this is twice per week)."

Finally, she asked for all girls to be allowed to wear trousers as well as boys in order to "diminish core gender stereotypes before they even begin".

The school has since said that it did not issue a strict refusal for girls to wear trousers, but that this may have been "miscommunicated". A newly formed school uniform review committee will now decide whether girls will be allowed to wear trousers.

Images: Simone Cariss Facebook and iStock

Related

spice girls reunion.jpg

A Spice Girls reunion is happening

high heels office sent home.jpg

Woman is sent home from work for not wearing high heels

Cyndi Lauper Late Show James Corden Girls.jpg

Watch Cyndi Lauper nail a new version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

flats cannes.jpg

Susan Sarandon wearing flats on the red carpet is a big win for women

ladybits 1.jpg

Beautifully illustrated zine aims to educate us all about our vaginas

Emojis.jpg

Non-sexist female emojis could appear on your phone later this year

paper.jpg

“Why do we insist on judging women's motherhood choices?”

rexfeatures_5587567j.jpg

Emma Thompson endorses the Women's Equality Party

woman card.jpg

Feminists have perfect response to Trump's sexist #womancard

Comments

More

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

“I have my demons”: Neelam Gill on racism, modelling and mental health

Stylist’s cover star is outspoken, honest and on the up

by Anita Bhagwandas
19 Jul 2017

Actresses who have braved playing iconic women from history

As Felicity Jones signs up to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we take a look at other movie stars who have played real-life legends

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Madonna launches legal battle to get her Tupac breakup letter back

The emotional letter was set to go up for auction – but Madonna says it was taken without her consent

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Kate Middleton’s honest response to being called “perfect”

The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t here for the myth of perfection

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jul 2017

Christine Bleakley is over people asking when she’s going to have kids

“Everyone seems to be fascinated by my body clock…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Jul 2017

Woman cancels her wedding and invites homeless people to the party

“It’s a great opportunity to spread love.”

by Moya Crockett
17 Jul 2017