St Francis controversy: Dress code remains but its limited now

Hyderabad: After a huge protest in their college campus on Monday, the students of St. Francis College for Women were overjoyed as the college relaxed the kurti dress code. The college management told students that they can wear anything expect for short tops and sleeveless. This is a big-win situation for students.

On Monday, hundreds of students protested outside the main gate of the St. Francis College for Women against the knee length kurti dress code imposed by the college management in August. Despite holding a protest, students followed the dress code. However, it was only after the college authorities deployed women security guards at the gate to check the length of the kurtis that the agitated students decided to protest on Monday.

Ms Candis a student who participated in the protest said, “Though the kurti rule has been lifted, it is still a half victory. But, if we have managed to rub sense into their rigid and orthodox minds, I think we have begun something worth remembering. The length of our kurti doesn’t define who we are. If a rule has to be imposed it should be done in a correct way, not humiliating us.”

She adds, “We followed the dress code asked, but narrowing it to the length of the kurti is not empowering at all when the motto of the institution is wisdom and peace through love. We only protested because we were judged by simple things every Morning which is unpleasant for everyone. I took admission in St Francis because it is a girls college and I can be free to wear whatever I want.”

Another student Aishwarya, told the Newsmeter, “The protest was held not because we have a problem with the kurti length, but, because they have taken our basic fundamental right, ‘right to freedom.’ In a rapidly changing world, one of the most reputable colleges in Hyderabad has a patriarchal and orthodox mindset. Women empowerment literally means to break down the shackles of male dominance and face the world with confidence and bravery, to be seen as equal to men. Just because they are uncomfortable, we are forced to wear what they want is ridiculous. If we only come to get married and get a groom then it’s just unacceptable. Holistic education means all-round development, if this is absent in the top management, I have no better definition of hypocrisy.”

More than the kurti it is the words and treatment by the management and principal is not acceptable. Even after humiliating us, she wants us to apologise. I don’t understand why. But anyways at the end if we got our freedom and are allowed to wear what we want, said Priya.

Aditi said, “The length of one’s dress cannot define one’s personality. Girls should be taught to be bold and fight for their rights. Not hide indoors. The dress code no way promotes women empowerment, because the meaning of women empowerment is freedom to choose what a woman wants. The dress code rule is silly and not right.”

Anusha Puppala

Anusha Puppala is currently working at NewsMeter. She had earlier worked as a reporter with ANI and The News Minute. Previously, she has worked as a Senior Reporter with the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper, covering education beat. She had briefly associated with the national television channel Tiranga TV as a special correspondent. Anusha has extensively written stories on education, traffic, civic-issues, human-Interesting, off-Beat, consumer issues, health and environment. Hailing from Visakhapatnam, Anusha is a social media buff and a passionate foodie. If not reporting, you will always find her travelling.

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