Legislative Dress Code to recognize the #RightToBareArms

A protest against a dress code for women working in the BC Legislature has had the desired impact.

Last week an attempt to enforce the 40 year old code backfired. 

Several women were reminded by the Sergeant-At-Arms that part of the garment guidelines essentially forbids the exposure of upper arms.

But rather than comply, a number of women in the press gallery sand other BC Legislature staff showed defiance -- wearing short-sleeved and sleeveless dresses and tops to work the next day.

The action trended on Twitter under the hashtag "RightToBareArms." A number of men also shared photos of themselves with their sleeves rolled up in support of the women.

The protest sparked a review of the code by the Acting Clerk, and Monday House Speaker Daryl Plecas shared a preliminary list of recommendations.

Among them is the inclusion of sleeveless attire for women, or sleeveless dresses, shirts and blouses. There is also a  proposal to take responsibility of guideline enforcement away from the Sergeant-at-arms or other Assembly staff. Men would still be expected to wear collar-shirts, ties and jackets.

Plecas says he is committed to supporting gender sensitivity and awareness in a workplace that has been dominated by one gender for too long.

He adds the initial recommendations are being offered as preliminary guidance for the Legislative assembly to address or amend.

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