UTSUNOMIYA – Female students at the 25 municipal high schools in this eastern Japanese city will be able to choose pants instead of skirts as part of their uniforms starting in the 2022 school year, as the diversity of genders and other problems prompt to revise dress codes.
According to the school education division of the Utsunomiya municipal government, 20 municipal secondary schools already allow girls to wear pants – a move apparently favored by many students and their guardians.
The city has been discussing with school principals since the start of the 2019 school year with a view to setting up a system allowing students to wear pants. Officials considered the importance of non-sexist views as well as protection from the cold and safety from crime on the way to schools.
Since the city’s Ichijo and Wakamatsuhara High Schools gave female students the option to wear pants in April 2020, a growing number of schools have followed suit. Currently, 20 schools have created uniform pants for female students. The municipal government’s school education division said a total of 130 girls had worn pants in the past two school years.
The remaining five schools that do not yet offer girls ‘pant options are preparing to introduce selective uniform systems from April 2022. In one of these schools, girls now wear boys’ pants as a replacement, but the school is apparently preparing a separate version for girls.
Thinking about gender-neutral uniforms is advancing in high schools across the city, which allow students to choose a ribbon or tie as well as their preferred form of shirt collar, in addition to uniform stockings. An official from the school education division said, “We would like to continue to look at issues related to school life, in addition to uniforms, by listening to the opinions of students. ”
(Japanese original from Kodai Tamai, Utsunomiya Office)