06/23/2018, 08.49
JAPAN
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No ‘gendered’ uniforms, as Japanese schools opt for unisex uniforms

Students will be able to choose the uniform they feel most "at ease" in. Girls must feel free to wear trousers. For transgender students, traditional uniforms are a cause for discomfort and abandonment of studies.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - No uniform to “gendered” uniforms, but free choice between pants, skirt, bow and tie. This is part of a more "flexible" or "unisex" uniform policy that more and more Japanese schools are adopting.

An increasing number of schools - both medium and high schools - choose uniforms in which the student's gender is not marked, or leave freedom of choice for students regardless of gender. Some of the promoters of the initiative comment that this will help make the students feel more "at ease", and that the girls should be free to wear trousers, which are more "practical" and "comfortable" in winter.

In addition, the choice aims to alleviate the psychological suffering of LGBT students, in particular the transgender: for them, being forced to wear traditional uniforms is a source of deep embarrassment and discomfort. This causes lack of concentration and sometimes the abandonment of studies.

However, it may be "difficult" for this kind of change to take hold in Japan. "Even if schools and students accept a similar uniform - says Ayumi Okuno, creator of school products - it is likely that many people in society will not approve." In fact, there is concern that such choices may attract unwanted attention on the transgender community. And many girls have admitted they are afraid of calling attention too much while wearing pants.

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