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Mexico City ends gender-specific school uniforms

Lily Wakefield June 5, 2019
Claudia Sheinbaum gender neutral uniform mexico city

Claudia Sheinbaum at her inauguration as mayor in 2018. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/ Getty)

Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has announced that children in state schools will no longer have to wear gender-specific uniforms.

Sheinbaum announced the gender-neutral uniform policy while speaking at a local school in the Mexican capital on Monday (June 3).

She said: “The era when girls had to wear a skirt and boys had to wear trousers has been left behind, I think that’s passed into history.

“Boys can wear skirts if they want and girls can wear pants if they want.”

The Mexican education ministry recommends that children in state schools wear uniform, although it is not required, and previous guidelines stated: “Just as the skirt is the basic garment of a girl’s daily school uniform, so trousers are for boys.”

Mexico city gay pride parade
People take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Mexico City, on June 23, 2018. (ULISES RUIZ/ Getty)

The left-wing mayor took office in December and is only the second woman to govern Mexico City and the first to be elected. Sheinbaum’s campaign promised improved rights for women and LGBT+ people.

She said at the press conference: “It’s a very simple thing, but it creates a condition of equality, of equity.”

Mexico City’s policy will help trans children, says activist

“It’s going to help a lot for trans children,” Mexican transgender activist Diana Sanchez Barrios told Reuters.

“(For) trans boys, they impose everything masculine on you … and it impacts you psychologically, it becomes a problem. They’re forcing you to use a uniform that you don’t identify with,” she said.

Mexico is a predominantly Catholic country, and LGBT+ people still face violence and discrimination. Conversion therapy for minors is not banned.

However, progress on LGBT+ issues has been made in recent years and in 2018, 250,000 people attended the LGBT+ Pride parade held in Mexico City.

According to the BBC, in 2010 Mexico City became the first area in Mexico to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, which has led to more than a dozen other Mexican states legalising them since then.

More: Americas, Mexico

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