After the Kerala Government Medical College (KGMC) issued a dress code for girls, prohibiting them from wearing jeans, leggings or ‘noisy ornaments’, women activists on Saturday condemned the move saying such diktats displaying overpowering the patriarchy and a “Talibani” mentality, and should be accepted or followed.
“First put diktat on politicians on how they should behave towards women and how they should react in their social life. Make men understand how they should behave with women first, impose such code of conduct, and after that, try to tell how and what women should wear,” the NCW member told ANI.
“The college must go through it again and withdraw such ‘Talibani’ diktats of not wearing jeans, Other college, also have followed this pattern, but I think it is high time the government comes out strictly, or the education ministry instructs these colleges not to take out such “Talibani Diktats”, and also to not make such non issues important, like what a woman is wearing and not.” she added.
In a circular issued, the College vice-principal issued a set of rules with regards to the MBBS course to ensure regular attendance and final internal marks.
Right at the bottom of the circular there appears to be a Do’s and Don’ts for both ‘gents’ and ‘ladies’ which ensure that students appear to be formally dressed.
The boys have been ordered to maintain a ‘neat and clean dress and appearance in formal dress and shoes’, which appears reasonable enough.
However, women have been asked to wear formals, which specifically mean ‘churidar or saree’ and that their hair must be ‘put up’.
But what stood out in the don’ts section was a ban on ‘short tops, or chappals’ jeans, leggings and noisy ornaments’.
This is not the first instance of a controversial ‘dress code’ being announced. Earlier this year, a Kozhikode college had banned girls from wearing jeans on campus.
Last year, 18-year-olds at a northern Kerala college were ordered to wear a uniform of a kurta, a churidaar and an overcoat instead of a dupatta, said officials at the women’s college in Kozhikode.
Female students, especially in the medical and engineering courses have complained that it becomes a herculean task to manoeuvre themselves while clad in a saree or worrying about dupattas, especially during exams or during practicals.