Gender-neutral, flexible school uniforms pushed

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday proposed a measure allowing female students to freely wear trousers or pants in all public and private schools, at all levels, to ensure gender-neutral and flexible school uniform options for everyone.

Tulfo said Senate Bill 1986 or the “Pants for Her Act” is seeking to create a more inclusive and equitable educational environment for all students regardless of gender.

“In today’s social climate, it is imperative that young women are given another alternative to the traditional skirted uniform in order for them to feel comfortable and promote a gender-neutral environment,” Tulfo wrote in his bill’s explanatory note.

“The right of young women to wear trousers to school needs to be a given, and not a privilege that needs to be argued for in each individual case,” he added.

Tulfo on purpose filed the proposed measure in time for the celebration of National Women’s Month this March.

“Skirts for women and trousers for men have been used as identifiers to differentiate the two genders from one another for decades,” he said.

Tulfo stressed policies on school uniforms must be redesigned and redeveloped to encourage equity by extending gender-neutral options for all students.

He believes the bill could help female students with body challenges to boost their self-esteem by wearing much more comfortable uniforms.

Tulfo also said the bill will somehow resolve the annual dengue outbreak in the country.

“Considering that wearing pants is one of the easy precautions one may take to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes that spread dengue,” he explained.

Over 220,000 dengue cases were reported in the Philippines in the previous year.

Also, wearing pants will likewise make riding a motorcycle and other public modes of transportation easier and more comfortable for female students.

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