Hundreds of male pupils in the city of Nantes in western France ditched their trousers and came to school wearing skirts Friday as part of a campaign against sexism, despite opposition by some conservative groups.
The “Lift the Skirt” initiative, an idea put together by students, saw pupils at 27 schools in the region around Nantes invited to attend school wearing skirts as part of efforts to raise awareness of discrimination and sexism faced by their female classmates.
Though entirely optional, plenty of young men arriving for school on Friday morning appeared to have embraced the campaign.
“I borrowed my skirt from my sister,” one male pupil at the Lycée Clemenceau told AFP. “My mother lent me mine,” added another.
The initiative has enraged certain conservative groups in France and on Thursday a group from the “Manif pour Tous” (Protest for All) group – which began as a movement against France’s legalisation of gay marriage last year – protested outside the Lycée Clemenceau, sparking a confrontation with students.
Police stepped in on Friday to prevent clashes after a confrontation between students and a small group of protesters outside the same school, but AFP reported that calm was quickly restored.
In pictures: Schoolboys in Nantes wear skirts to fight sexism
Braving the cold, hundreds of schoolboys in the city of Nantes in western France swapped their trousers for skirts Friday as part of an anti-sexism initiative. © @ AFP/ Jean-Sebastien Evrard
Called “Lift the Skirt”, the initiative was set up by students themselves who wished to draw attention to the discrimination faced by female pupils. © @ AFP/ Jean-Sebastien Evrard
Male pupils at a total of 27 high schools in Nantes were invited to wear skirts to school in support of the campaign. © @ AFP/ Jean-Sebastien Evrard
A girl holds a placard reading "I struggle against sexism" in front of the Clemenceau high school in Nantes as riot police watch guard. The initiative has sparked criticism and protests from conservative groups in France. © @ AFP/ Jean-Sebastien Evrard
Pupils also had the choice of wearing a sticker in support of the campaign, reading: “I am fighting against sexism, are you?” though most seemed to go for the skirt option. © @ RobeletG (Twitter)
A group of male pupils pose in their skirts. © @ BreizhWeCan (Twitter)
Date created : 2014-05-16