Amid protests, Kozhikode school welcomes gender-neutral uniforms

Students wearing gender-neutral uniforms in a school in Kerala

AKerala higher secondary school has adopted a gender-neutral uniform despite some groups opposing the move. A higher secondary school in Kozhikode’s Balussery decided to end different uniform rules for girls and boys.

About 200 students of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Balussery will be wearing a shirt and trousers as school uniform when they go to attend their classes.

“The idea was proposed initially as part of implementing gender-inclusive concepts in the school. The Parents Teachers Association also agreed to the idea proposed by the teachers,” said Indu R, the school principal.

Indu R said some parents sought an overcoat for students but consensus was reached over shirt and trousers as uniform. Earlier, a lower primary school in Ernakulam adopted a gender-neutral uniform.

However, some groups such as the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) objected to the move. They staged a protest outside the school.

“There will always be resistance when there is change. The students have not expressed any discomfort so far. They have the freedom to wear what makes them comfortable,” Indu R told India Today.

he principal said the students of Plus-Two would continue to wear the old uniform. The school’s Parent Teachers Association (PTA) president, K Shybu, said the change was received well by both parents and teachers.

“A few parents have demanded an overcoat and the PTA agreed to it. The students can choose full-sleeve or half-sleeve as per their choice. We intend to put forth a message of gender equality,” said Shybu.


Students welcomed the change. Sivananda, a student, said the uniform gave them a confidence boost. “We are happy to be the beginning of change,” she said.

Another student, Luthfia Lukman, said pants and shirts were not clothes worn only by boys. “Both girls and boys use them. It is more comfortable and convenient than other uniforms,” she said.

Education Minister V Sivankutty said there was no need for unnecessary controversies as the Kerala government aimed at making schools a gender-neutral space for students.

Earlier, Higher Education Minister R Bindu announced the adoption of gender-neutral uniforms officially on Wednesday at a virtual event.


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