#FreeTheKnees: Women’s college in India withdraws strict dress code after student protest (VIDEO)
A women’s college in India has reportedly dropped its new dress code following a student protest. The short-lived rule was said to have been put in place in order to ensure “better marriage proposals” for the school’s pupils.
Dozens of students at St. Francis College for Women in Hyderabad held signs and chanted slogans denouncing a new rule stipulating that their kurtis – a loose, collarless shirt – must be long enough to cover their knees. The decree seemed particularly restrictive considering that shorts and sleeveless dresses were already banned.
The regulation was implemented in order to stop female students from “distracting” their male instructors, according to local media reports. The rule was also bizarrely billed as a way to obtain “better marriage proposals” for the college’s pupils.
#Hyderabad-More than100 students are protesting at the St. #Francis College in Hyd, against Moral Policing. Students tell me- they have been asked to wear ‘long kurtas’ to ‘not distract male faculty’ and ‘for better marriage proposals.’ ‘No negotiations’ -say students #Telanganapic.twitter.com/OVm9tB8oem
— Rishika Sadam (@RishikaSadam) September 16, 2019
A video that went viral on social media over the weekend showed several women being denied entry to the college, after their kurtis were deemed too short. A female security guard was shown tugging at the prohibited garments.
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*Updated* Since some people were uncomfortable with their face shown I’ve put down my post and reposting it. See you all the the protest stronger than ever ✊🏻 Welcome to St. Francis College! It’s supposed to be one of the best colleges in Hyderabad. This is how they have started treating the girls here, it all started a couple of months back when the Principal said that it was now a new rule to wear kurtas “below the knee length” everyday or they would not be allowed in college and the reason for this new rule is because “thighs” attract boys. Firstly, its a girls college where there are no boys, if the male professors are feeling uncomfortable it’s their fault to look at young girls in such a way. They are freaking 50 years of age and looking at girls in such a way. (It’s the men and not the girls) Second, according to me education has nothing to do with the type of clothes I wear, let it be a Kurta, shorts or a bikini nobody can tell me what to wear and how to wear it. Third, I know there are people who say having rules in schools or colleges is normal, I agree that in some business colleges the students have to wear formals but standing at the gate like Hitler and screening the girls is not the right way to treat anyone or even hiring lady guards who are clearly crossing the line by touching and shouting on the girls. It’s just disgusting when you realize that the college you graduated from is falling so low. What is even wrong in the clothes that the girls are wearing? I don’t see even 1 dress that is “showing skin” (which should actually not matter, but according to Indian so called “sanskars”) Its high time we stop judging and bringing each other down and start helping each other and support other women. We’ll be treated equally only if we treat each other equal. I normally try and avoid such topics but this is just straight up disgusting.
A post shared by Vrinda Malik (@awkward_malik) on Sep 15, 2019 at 8:26pm PDT
That all changed on Monday, when enraged students mobilized to put an end to the long-kurtis tyranny. Some of the creative signage held during the demonstration included ‘My kurti, my choice’, ‘say no to long kurti’ and ‘#FreeTheKnees.’
Hyderabad: Students of St. Francis College For Women protest against the new rule under which the students have been ordered to wear ‘kurtis’ below knee length while shorts, sleeveless or other similar dresses are banned in the campus. #Telanganapic.twitter.com/x6luaPuvRE
— ANI (@ANI) September 16, 2019
Local media reported that the protest, attended by 150 students, succeeded in reversing the rule.
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