The Government Medical College in Kerala’s capital, Trivandram, has issued a dress code to its female students which instructs them not to wear jeans, leggings, short tops or noisy ornaments. The vice-principal of the college issued these rules in a circular on October 20, and asked women to only wear churidar or saree, and to have their hair tied up.
Telling women what not to wear at college campuses has been happening for years. Here are some other instances where Indian colleges have dictated the clothes women wear
1. A college in Kozhikode had banned women from wearing jeans earlier this year.
2. Aligarh Muslim University had dictated that women must only wear salwar kameez, and had banned them from entering the library.
3. Earlier this year, Patna University also issued a similar dress code for its students.
4. Hindu College of Delhi University had urged its female students to ‘dress according to the norms of society’ but had to rescind its diktat because of wide-spread protests.
5. Kolkata’s Scottish Church College banned short skirts, T-shirts with messages on them and many other articles of clothing in June, 2015.
Commenting on the dress codes of colleges, Nandini Manjrekar, associate professor at TISS, told DNA, “It’s an all-out assault on women’s autonomy, mobility and freedom of expression. What relationship does attire have to do with imbibing knowledge?”
It is shocking that even after so much public discourse on a woman’s right to wear what she wants, centers of education would still show such backward mentality.