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Boys can be Girls under Taiwan school’s gender neutral

Both male and female students will be allowed to wear skirts at a school in Taiwan after it announced plans to drop gender-specific uniforms on Wednesday (Jun 24), a move LGBT+ campaigners said was a boost for gender equality.

The change, a rare move in Asia where traditional values often prevail, came after male students and teachers at

Banqiao Senior High School near Taipei donned skirts in May during a week-long campaign seeking to break down gender stereotypes.

The school’s decision is seen as reinforcing the self-ruled island’s reputation as a beacon of liberalism in Asia, which became the first place in the region to legalise same-sex marriage in May.

Under the current guidelines, male students are required to wear trousers and skirts for female students, but the new dress code – to take effect in the new academic year from Aug 30 – will remove any mention of specific gender.

“It is to boost the students’ autonomy in choosing their uniforms while respecting their rights,” the Banqiao Senior High School said in a statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The school, which is located in New Taipei City, just outside the capital, has over 2,000 students aged between 16 and 18.