Male students at New Taipei Municipal Banqiao Senior High School will be allowed to wear skirts to school, starting with the new semester in September, in a bid to promote gender equality, the school’s management said yesterday.
The school board last month scrapped a dress code regulation, which stipulated that male students can only wear trousers to school, student affairs division head Lin San-wei (林三維) said.
The move allows male students to wear skirts to school should they choose to without risking punishment, he said.
Female students can continue to wear skirts or trousers to school, he added.
The decision was made “not to encourage male students to wear skirts,” but to create a gender-equal campus and show more respect to students’ choices, Lin said.
The school and the Ministry of Education said that the school could be the first in the nation to allow male students to wear skirts on campus.
The school’s management also changed a rule that required female students to wear only black or blue skirts or trousers, saying they are now free to wear skirts or trousers in any color, as long as they are a solid color.
The changes came two months after the school held a week-long student-initiated “men wearing skirts” activity aimed at breaking gender stereotypes and highlighting personal freedoms.
The event coincided with the 73rd anniversary of the school’s founding.
The ministry welcomes the school’s decision to break gender stereotypes, Department of Student Affairs and Special Education Director Cheng Nai-wen (鄭乃文) said.
School administrations are allowed to make changes in dress and hair codes as long as they consult students and parent representatives, and adhere to democratic procedures, according to the regulations.
[Taipei Times, 2019-07-23]