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Addressing Gender Equality By Adding Pockets To Women's Clothing

Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Clarington, Canada

Which clothes do you feel the most empowered in? Women’s clothing has changed so much over the course of history, across different cultures and regions of the world. We think the most empowering kinds of clothes are the ones which women choose to wear themselves. And ones with pockets!

Did you know, that women’s clothing began to be systematically deprived of its storage capabilities around 100 years ago?

This is a topic which has been covered in several news outlets, including a National Post article published earlier this year, titled “How Society Decided that Women Can’t Have Pockets.”

One quote that really stood out to us in the article was this:

“But where is a woman to put her keys? Not here. Not here. Definitely not here. Maybe on this skirt? No, that’s just a fake pocket. Surely this baggy faux fur coat would have … no? Sweat pants? No? This dress with inspirational feminist symbols on it? No. Okay, wow.”

However, there are some exceptions to the lack-of-pockets rule that the fashion industry for women tends to follow these days: “Here’s some glorious space pockets on female astronauts. And look, here’s Canada’s top Mountie. But we’ve essentially decided that if a woman is doing something even remotely dressy, then storage capability is the first to go.”

Do you consider the number of pockets (or lack thereof) on your clothes when purchasing them? We’ve gotten so used to clothes without pockets, that we’re very shocked when they do have pockets. Recently, we’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover pockets on the Pakistani dresses we bought when visiting the country last year. The outfit pictured above for example, was a complete surprise.

As we think more about this topic however, we recognize how removing women’s clothes of its storage capabilities is a systemic flaw which makes women dependent on partners who do have pockets or places to put their keys, wallets, or other items, or just learning how to carry everything in our hands! Of course, there are also purses, backpacks and other additional items you can carry your things around in, but what if our clothes had the ability to hold our essential items as many traditionally male clothes do?

When we analyze issues as simple as pockets on clothes, we recognize that addressing gender equality and solving it doesn’t always have to consist of advocating for big causes like pay equity (which are still VERY important). Sometimes, it can be as simple as asking for pockets on your clothes so that you can carry the items you need to take on the world with ease.

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