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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 7, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 23
Mexico City drops gender-specific school uniforms
Section One
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Mexico City drops gender-specific school uniforms

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced a new dress code for government-run schools in her city - and students will no longer be required to wear gender-specific uniforms.

'Boys can wear skirts if they want and girls can wear trousers if they want,' Mayor Sheinbaum said in a June 4 press conference at a primary school in the center of the city.

The change in policy will create 'a condition of equality, of equity,' she added.

Previous guidelines stated that 'just as the skirt is the basic garment of a girl's daily school uniform, so trousers are for boys.'

Sheinbaum said that that kind of thinking 'had passed into history' and that the new measure would come into effect 'immediately.'

Later she tweeted about the policy change.

'A city of rights brings equality to all spheres. With the secretary of the [school district] we announce the neutral school uniform in the city. The skirt will not be exclusive for the girls and the trousers for the boys. Simple actions to promote equal rights.'

Mexican Transgender activists said the new dress code would help children who had been forced to wear a uniform they may not have identified with.

National Education Minister Esteban Moctezuma backed the mayor's move and said he was sure many other states would follow suit. Unlike the United States, schools in Mexico are run by state governments. As the capital of the country, Mexico City forms its own state, governed by the mayor and city council.

It is not the first time Mexico City led the rest of the country in protecting LGBT rights. In 2010, it became the first area in Mexico to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Since then, more than a dozen other states have legalized it.

Last month, newly elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador - popularly known as Amlo, from his initials - said he would push for same-sex marriage to be made legal across the country.

Like Amlo, Sheinbaum is a member of the leftist Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (MORENA) movement. MORENA describes itself as a democratic left-wing party that supports ethnic, religious, cultural, and sexual diversity; respect for human rights; and care for the environment.

In coalition with other leftist groups, it won the Mexican presidency and control of both houses of Mexico's congress in the 2018 national elections.

Sheinbaum was elected mayor in 2018, after serving as mayor of Tlalpan, one of Mexico City's districts. Amlo was mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2005, with Sheinbaum as his environmental secretary.

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