Students at a Taiwan high school wear skirts (Photo: Facebook)
Parents groups in Taiwan have protested against a high school which recently allowed male students to wear skirts.
Demonstrators held banners saying ‘Win Family Back, Reverse Education’ outside the Ministry of Education on Friday (26 July), according to Focus Taiwan.
After democratic consultations and a week-long trial, Banqiao Senior High School will implement the new uniform policy in the next academic year.
People often refer to Taiwan as the best place to be LGBTI in Asia.
And, in 2004, it implemented the Gender Equity Education Act which teaches LGBTI anti-discrimination and LGBTI sex education.
A Ministry of Education spokesperson also welcomed the decision this week, according to Taiwan News.
But, parents on Friday argued education should be about ‘responsibility’ and not ‘rights’.
‘The boundary between men and women is being broken. Where does a skirt-wearing male student go when the call of nature comes?’ asked Hung Chih-ho of the Kaohsiung City Parents Alliance.
‘Without the boundary, how will boys treat girls with respect?’ he asked.
‘Children like to do something wacky, to be different from others, so that people pay attention to them,’ he said. ‘But, now boys are allowed to wear skirts to school, with the school attributing the change to respect for students’ “right of autonomy.”‘
Last week, a school official reportedly said the length of skirts allowed caused more heated debate than whether they should be allowed or not.
The new guidelines state they must be no higher than 10 centimeters above the knee.
School gets Presidential approval
Male students at the high school wore skirts at the school’s anniversary party in May. They wanted to break down gender stereotypes and underline personal freedom.
Photos on social media also appeared to show students and staff wearing skirts and posing with rainbow flags.
The move garnered support from the country’s president Tsai Ing-wen, who has been a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights.
‘What girls can do, boys can do too’, she said. ‘Don’t the Scots wear skirts too?’ she also asked.
Taiwan in May also became the first country in Asia to allow same-sex couples to marry.