The ‘Sexist’ Hostel Timings At Jamia: Is Safety A Concern Only For Girls?

Posted on August 17, 2015 in Campus Watch

By Shaifila Ladhani

Every year, many students come from all over India to study in Delhi because this city has some of the best colleges. Jamia Millia Islamia is one of them. For outstation students, hostels are extremely important for many reasons. Adjusting in a new city is difficult already. For such students, a cheap safe and reliable accommodation is a blessing. But when this facility tries to dictate your life, what will you do?

Jamia hostels are extremely comfortable and have all the facilities, but one rule has created a lot of problems.

Image source: Alister Babb/Flickr

According to a new rule, female students residing in the hostels have to be back to the hostel by 8 pm and no late nights are allowed (you have to get permission from your local guardian). “Residents of the Hall of Girls are informed that no late night is allowed any more. You are, therefore, required to follow the norms, in your own best interests,” stated a notice that was issued recently.

For a student whose classes end by five, only three hours for everything else is unfair. Students need to study, go out, interact with people and basically LIVE. What is the point of waking up, going to college and coming back and end up being caught in this cycle? Being a college student is not just about the classes.

It isn’t just about wanting to have fun or going out or studying, another major issue is the sexism. While girls have to do a lot of work for one late night permission, boys have no curfew time at all. The university eagerly mentioned it was for ‘safety and security’. If it is about the safety issue, what makes you think that boys are safe? Rape is not the only crime that happens in this city. There should be some guidelines dictating a curfew time for boys too. At the time of hostel admission, parents and local guardians are required to sign an undertaking, taking responsibility for their ward’s actions. The university prospectus has a disclaimer which says that authorities will have no liability towards the resident when he/she is outside the campus or when on leave from the hostel. Why then are they suddenly bothered about safety?

A friend of mine who was living in the hostel doesn’t want to reapply, but she has to because there are not many reliable accommodations around. “I won’t be able to meet my friends or do anything except going to college. This is a dictatorship!” she said.

Jamia isn’t the only one, many hostels around the country have sexist rules for the students.

VIT, one of the most reputed institutions has a curfew time of 8.30 for girls and 9.30 for boys (8 on weekends for girls only). Delhi University hostel deadlines and rules regarding nights out are rigorously enforced on female students. Men do not have to deal with any red tape to stay out.

These institutions are propagating the idea that female students are incapable of taking care of themselves. Sadly enough, the parents are generally supportive of such rules. They preach and teach feminism and equality, but rarely feel the need to apply these teachings into practice. Women enjoy only half the university life men do, leaving early for home, missing out on extra-curricular activities and campus events. Why can’t the campuses be made safer instead?

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