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Spanish region to ban gendered school uniforms

The initiative from the Valencia regional government will ensure that no student will be “forced to wear a skirt because of their sex”

Ignacio Zafra

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Female students in Valencia will no longer be forced to wear a skirt.
Female students in Valencia will no longer be forced to wear a skirt.Getty

The government of Spain’s eastern Valencia region is set to ban gendered school uniforms. The three political parties that govern Valencia – the Socialist Party (PSOE), the left-wing coalition Compromís and the anti-austerity party Podemos – presented the proposal on October 30, arguing that gendered school uniforms violate “students’ individual freedoms and right to non-discrimination.”

The ban will adapt public-school regulation to the 21st century

Socialist regional deputy Ana Besalduch

The proposal aims to reform the 2008 decree that regulates “order in non-university educational centers maintained by public funding.” Given the parties hold the majority in the regional government, the reform is expected to be approved without any problems.

A spokesperson from Compromís confirmed on Thursday that the ban will affect both public and chartered schools, known in Spanish as escuelas concertadas, which are private centers that are either totally or partially subsidized by public funds.

The initiative enshrines a student’s “complete individual freedom,” and explicitly expresses that they will not be “forced to wear a skirt because of their sex.”

The measure was presented to the Education and Culture Commission in the Corts Valencianes, the main legislative body of the Valencian government, by Socialist regional deputy Ana Besalduch. 

According to Besalduch, the ban will help “adapt public-school regulation to the 21st century.” Pilar Lima, from Podemos, said it was a necessary step toward an “equal and inclusive school,” while Papi Robles, from Compromís, said that gendered school uniforms violate “the principle of equality before the law and non-discrimination, which includes sexual and gender diversity.”

English version by Alicia Kember.

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