Gender-neutral uniforms: Why a Kerala IUML leader has drawn the line | Political Pulse News,The Indian Express
Senior IUML leader and MLA M K Muneer said that such a uniform – trousers and shirts for both girls and boys – was a “Left tactic to promote denial of religion and male dominance”.
Known to be among the progressive faces of Muslim politics in Kerala, senior IUML leader and MLA M K Muneer came out with an uncharacteristically strong statement on Sunday against a move to introduce gender-neutral uniforms in state schools.
The doctor-turned-politician said that such a uniform – trousers and shirts for both girls and boys – was a “Left tactic to promote denial of religion and male dominance”. He was addressing a camp of IUML students’s wing, Muslim Students’ Federation.
However, to political observers, Muneer’s statement was reflective of the tightrope walk politicians of the community have to do on contentious issues – and there are almost no takers for a gender-neutral uniform among them.
Reacting to Muneer’s statement, Kerala General Education Minister and CPM leader V Sivankutty said Monday: “(His) approach towards the issue is outdated and belongs to the 16th century. Times have changed. The Education Department will go ahead with its programmes for creating gender justice, gender equality and gender awareness.”
Last year, a government high school in Kozhikode first introduced a gender-neutral uniform, allowing a concession of full-sleeve shirts instead of half-sleeve and head scarf for Muslim girls. Most students welcomed it wholeheartedly, despite protests by some Muslim outfits.