Nearly a month after women hostel residents at Jamia Millia Islamia termed its rules “sexist and hypocritical”, the varsity, in a letter to the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), claimed that it was “in the process of revisiting the extant guidelines” to “uphold gender equality”.
At the beginning of the new academic session, the university had barred women hostel residents from taking permission for ‘late nights’ and asked them to be back inside the hostel premises by 8 pm.
“I wish to submit that Jamia Millia Islamia is in the process of revisiting the extant guidelines in various respects to uphold gender equality on the campus,” stated a letter to DCW from the Jamia Registrar’s office.
The university administration also provided a copy of the set of rules governing its hostels.
“The details given by the university showed that hostel timings for girls and boys were different. As a result, the DCW had asked the university to work on gender equality. We have now received a letter from Jamia, assuring us that these guidelines will be revisited in order to ensure gender equality. Jamia also said that they will look at the hostel timings of other universities,” said a DCW official.
In a letter to Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmed last month, commission chairperson Swati Maliwal had raised concerns about the revised hostel rules.
While asking Jamia authorities to provide reasons for “posing such restrictions on girl students”, Maliwal had asked them to provide DCW with a copy of the older as well as revised guidelines concerning hostel timings.
Pointing to media reports about the alleged discriminatory guidelines issued by the varsity regarding hostel timings, Maliwal had stated, “It is observed that no such guidelines have been issued by other universities and even in Jamia, they seem to have been issued only for girls and not for boys, thereby raising allegations of discrimination.”
Following the university’s assurance, Maliwal asked them to ensure implementation of the new and equitable guidelines at the earliest. “I wish to reiterate our belief that all rules and regulations, including those regarding hostel timings and permissions therein, should be uniform and alike for both girls and boys,” she said.
Offering to help the university administration in ensuring security on campus, Maliwal said, “If the administration feels there are certain challenges in making these rules equitable such as lack of adequate policing around the campus, streetlights not functioning or any other issues, please let us know.”
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