Safety has nothing to do with dress code or a set of restrictions for female students. Three cheers for University Grants Commission (UGC) for acknowledging this in its new set of rules for varsities. It has completely banned all the bizarre set of rules supposedly for the “safety of women” studying in colleges like dress code, dissimilar code of conduct for boys and girls etc.
This has been done in light of dealing with cases of sexual harassment of female students and employees at campuses. It has instructed all the higher educational institutions to lay out common set of rules for boys and girls living in the hostels. The amendments in the regulations are separately marked by the two regulatory bodies- UGC and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). This set of new rules will be mandatory to follow for all the universities and colleges affiliated to these two organisations.
“Concern for the safety of women students must not be cited to impose discriminatory rules for women in hostels as compared to male students. Campus safety policies should not result in securitisation, such as over monitoring or policing or curtailing the freedom of movement, especially for women employees and students (sic),” stipulates UGC and AICTE regulations, reports Deccan Herald.
A progressive move taken by the centre and it is welcomed by both the female students who are studying and female employees who are working at campuses. “I completely stand with UGC’s decision, I feel there should not be any gender discrimination in the set of rules that the Delhi University creates for boys and girls,” says a The Hindu student, Bliss Ningnem to Shethepeople.
The Hindu college of Delhi University recently found itself amidst student protests as it came out with some rules for dressing in its 2016 prospectus. As it has also built a separate girls’ hostel for the first time, it had a different set of rules for girls as well which were found to be too regressive by the students and the college staff. The administration asked girls to dress as per the ‘norms of the society’ inside the hostel campus which after much objection was retracted by the college’s authorities. It also had a graver time restriction for girls to follow while boys had none of that in their set of rules.
Many other colleges also have bizarre rules for girls and boys, Jeppiar Engineering College, Panimalar Institute of Technology both have no acceptance for any kind of friendship between boys and girls on campus. The administrations of both colleges have in fact gone out of their way to ensure that both have a separate place in the same institutions.
Such gender separation and discrimination towards women is not what students need to be subjected to, as this kind of treatment only teaches them difference and not equality. “For female students rather than boosting up their morale, rules like dress code and time restriction only makes them feel furthermore scared of men,” pointed out Prithika Shukla, who is a professor Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak.
While an excited Rishika Mehrotra, studying Philosophy Honours in Delhi University told us that this is the best judgement she has heard today. “Equality and understanding is what we need from colleges and this new set of rules will bring just that. I am ecstatic about this!”
We understand the sentiment!
Feature Image Credit: Indian Express