The need for school uniform guidelines in SA to be more progressive and inclusive of LGBTQIA+ pupils has garnered much attention.
The current uniform policies are draft guidelines which allow departments and schools at a provincial level to interpret them in the way they see fit, which can be problematic if non-discriminatory guidelines are included.
“The issue of school uniforms, as the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), we understand as a broad concern. It's not just about school uniforms, but about the right to dignity, to non-discrimination, to equality of treatment and the right to education for those children who have different gender expressions,” says CGE commissioner Busisiwe Deyi.
The CGE says the national uniform guidelines are lacking in recognising the need for children to be able to express themselves regardless of their gender identity. According to Deyi, the commission is developing a paper that seeks to redress the uniform guidelines through recommendations to the department of education.