Journalist Jenni Murray Urges Schools to Ditch Skirts in Uniforms, Citing Harassment Issues

Journalist Jenni Murray Urges Schools to Ditch Skirts in Uniforms, Citing Harassment Issues

In a compelling article, journalist Jenni Murray shares her perspective on the need to ban skirts in schools, drawing attention to the pervasive issue of harassment faced by schoolgirls.

Reflecting on her own experiences and societal changes, Murray calls for a radical shift in school uniforms to ensure gender equality and protect girls from potential harm.

Evolution of Personal Style: From Miniskirts to Trousers

Murray reminisces about her fashion choices and acknowledges a shift in her wardrobe preferences, specifically the dwindling presence of skirts.

This reflection prompts her to delve into the historical context of skirts, especially during the liberating era of the 1960s, and raises questions about why she, like many, has moved away from this once-iconic female garment.

Skirts in School: A Source of Harassment

The article takes a poignant turn as Murray shares her experiences of wearing skirts in a single-sex school during her youth.

She vividly describes the leering and lewd comments from boys, emphasizing how the school uniform policy subjected girls to uncomfortable situations.

Murray argues that skirts restricted physical activities and perpetuated harmful gender norms.

Call for Change: Banning Skirts for Equality

Highlighting the contemporary challenges faced by schoolgirls, Murray calls for an outright ban on skirts in schools.

She expresses concern over the ability to take upskirt photos, exacerbating the harassment faced by girls.

The journalist emphasizes the necessity for absolute uniform equality, advocating for trousers for both girls and boys, with shorts for sporting activities.

Research Supporting the Cause: Impact of Uniforms on Physical Activity

Murray refers to recent research by the University of Cambridge, which indicates that mandatory school uniforms, especially skirts, hinder girls’ engagement in physical activities.

The study reveals that girls wearing skirts are less likely to achieve the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, contributing to concerns about the impact of school uniforms on the well-being of young girls.

Empowering Girls: Assertiveness and Confidence in Education

The article references the forthcoming book, “Schools Of Thought,” by David James and Jane Lunnon, emphasizing the importance of assertiveness for girls in education.

Murray highlights the experiences of heads of schools who stress the need for girls to be confident and assertive in mixed environments, challenging traditional gender stereotypes.

Rising Concerns: Alarming Increase in Child-on-Child Sexual Assaults

Murray addresses the alarming rise in sexual assaults on children by their peers, especially within secondary schools.

She emphasizes the need to eliminate schoolboy leering and harassment by banning skirts, providing a safer and more inclusive environment for girls.

Historical Attempts and Current Urgency: Reinstating the Skirt Ban

Murray recalls past attempts to challenge school uniform policies, including a campaign for girls to wear trousers in 2015. Despite some schools accommodating this change, Murray underscores the need to reinstate the effort, advocating for the removal of skirts from school uniforms to eradicate gender-based harassment.

Closing Plea: Taking Sex Out of School for Equality

In a passionate conclusion, Murray reiterates her plea for a ban on skirts in schools, envisioning a learning environment where girls, from age five to 18, can thrive with confidence, free from the constraints of gender-specific uniforms.

The journalist advocates for equal opportunity and emphasizes the urgency of promoting a safer, more empowering educational experience for all students.

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