My wife, recently ranked 5th kyu, was told last week that she needed to start wearing a hakama. I believe that our sensei wants all ranked women to wear hakamas. Guys in my USAF dojo generally don't wear hakamas till they attain shodan rank. So, in 10 or 15 (20?) years when I finally get to wear my fancy pants my wife will be an old pro at it and I'll be stumbling about like the noob I am now.