Parliamentary Women Caucus Pushes for Primary School Girls to Wear Trousers
Gadama spoke in Zomba about reforming the school uniform policy.
Zomba, Malawi – The Chairperson for the Parliamentary Women Caucus, Roseby Gadama, has assured parents and chiefs that they are committed to engaging with the Ministry of Education to allow children in primary schools across the nation to wear trousers during classes, writes Peter Ngwenyama.
Speaking at a public forum in Zomba, Gadama addressed traditional leaders, members of parliament, traditional authorities, and parents regarding the motion tabled in parliament to reform the school uniform policy.
Gadama emphasized that the current school uniform policy restricts the freedom of choice for children, especially girls.
She stated, "We are advocating for change to ensure that children have the option to wear trousers in primary schools. This move is essential to address the challenges girls face during menstruation and in cold weather conditions, as the new uniform policy will remove barriers hindering their education."
She also reassured parents, saying, "We want to assure parents that careful consideration is being given to this issue, and not every type of trousers will be allowed."
Thomas Mbwembwe, the Director of Education, Youth, and Sports at the Zomba District Council, echoed Gadama's sentiments.
He emphasized that the school uniform policy review aims to safeguard the right to education, protect girls from sexual assault and gender-based violence, and ensure girls' comfort in the classroom when they choose to wear trousers.
He stated, "The current school uniform policy poses numerous challenges to girls, and the proposed changes will make a significant difference."
Traditional Authority Ngwerelo also joined the discussion, expressing gratitude to USAID and Democracy International for supporting the initiative.
He underscored the importance of teamwork and collaboration among citizens and chiefs across the country, stating that this effort is not a one-person endeavour but a collective undertaking to improve education and protect the rights of children, especially girls.
The Parliamentary Women Caucus remains committed to advocating for the reform of the school uniform policy, with the goal of providing primary school children with the choice to wear trousers for the betterment of their education and overall well-being.