Islamabad - International Islamic University (IIUI) female students on Monday staged a protest against gender discrimination by the university administration.
Dozens of female students early in the morning held a protest walk from the female campus to security office, where they blocked the main avenue for one hour demanding an end to gender discrimination in the campus.
This is the first time in the history of IIUI that female students challenging the conservative laws of administration came out and asked for relaxation in the rules.
The female students protested against the newly-introduced dress code, restrictions imposed on their movement and different rules for male and female students.
The students viewed that they are continuously being victimised by the university administration and humiliating rules are being introduced creating a suffocating environment for them in the university.
Students were seen holding placards with the statement “Uber and Careem (online taxi service) are drivers not our boyfriends”.
The university recently issued circular barring female students from wearing see-through dresses, ‘deep necks’, sleeveless shirts, skinny jeans, tights, capri pants, makeup, heavy jewellery and high heels.
According to the IIUI’s new dress code, the students have been directed to wear shalwar kameez with a shirt that is at least knee length and trousers with long shirts, and dupatta or scarf is mandatory with all dresses.
The students said that such shameful rules are not only confiscating the freedom of female students at the campus but also similar to their character assassination by the university administration.
The students complained the administration does not allow them to go outside the university leaving them on the mercy of security guards.
A student Ammara while talking to The Nation said that female students have to take permission on the slip from chairman while going outside.
She said that on entry and exit points security guards have been given free hand to misbehave with female students.
“In case of emergency, female students are running for a permission slip and fighting with security guards,” she said.
Another student, Mahnoor Fatima said that administration repeatedly issues humiliating notifications for female students which they cannot defend in society. “This is a higher education institute where adults are studying, they do not need directions what to wear,” she added.
Talking to The Nation, Rector IIUI Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai said that the administration has withdrawn the notification of issuing the permission slip system after listing to the students.
He said that female students were facing difficulties in their movement and the administration withdrew the slip-issuing system until a new mechanism is devised. “One window operation system will be introduced for the facility of students to get permission slip,” he said.
The university rector also said that administration has not imposed any dress code on students as only they have been asked to wear the attire according to the norms and culture of the society.
He also said that female students are being given best facilities. The new cafeteria has been built which will be soon inaugurated, he added.
Rector University also said that best gym facility has been provided to female students.
However, he said, the female students have equal liberty like the male students in the campus.