Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and former chairperson of National Commission for Women Girija Vyas on Wednesday said while people often talk of the need for a dress code for women in view of increasing molestation cases, she did not “completely agree” with it.
Vyas said even though she does not advocate a dress code for women going to colleges and universities, she felt that women should not go wearing a “night party dress to colleges”.
Speaking at an education ministry event at the release of a University Grants Commission (UGC) report on safety of women on campuses, Vyas said that young people would not agree to a dress code so it can’t be imposed and it must come ‘internally’.
Human Resource Development minister Pallam Raju and eminent academics were present at the event.
The UGC had set up a task force to “review the measures for ensuring safety of women on campuses and programmes for gender sensitization” in the aftermath of the December 16, 2012 Delhi gangrape case.
Headed by Dr Meenakshi Gopinath, the task force has said in its report — ‘SAKSHAM’ — that all members of higher educational institutions must undergo processes of gender sensitization and all institutions must formulate guidelines for dealing with sexual harassment.
It also recommends that modules on gender sensitization as well as counselinng services to be offered to students in higher education institutions.
The task force has also called for strengthening of women’s study centres in universities and women’s development cells in colleges.
Safety on campus must be supplmented through adequate infrastructure, such as lighting in and around campuses, reliable public transport, toilet facilities and girls’ hostel accommodation.
HRD minister M M Pallam Raju who released the report said that there is a need to change the mindset of the people and to apply it.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.