Stories about dress code

Forcing schoolgirls to wear an abaya is not the solution to harassment

The clothes that women wear in Pakistan have never been a matter of sartorial preferences or aesthetics alone. The length of the kameez, to the donning of the hijab itself has always been at the heart of a debate that encompasses matters as diverse as gender politics and women’s rights to female visibility and reclamation of public spaces. Even in Pakistani dramas, the morally upright woman is always shown to be dressed ‘modestly’ while the one who is ‘morally loose’ will be shown wearing jeans or a top. Therefore, on the face of it, the Haripur district’s education office’s decision ...

Read Full Post

The downfall of Bahria University: From a prestigious institute to the “six-inch university”

“Men and women are to maintain a distance of at least six inches while sitting/standing together.” Imagine reading this somewhere, or hearing about it. What would your first reaction be? Perhaps something like, “Oh my God! The Taliban are back! They must have started enforcing their version of Shariah, and are probably planning to bring the days of terror back to the country!” If so, relax! This notice wasn’t issued by those fanatics, but by a renowned semi-government university, and is applicable only within its premises. It all began when a notice was issued by Bahria University’s (BU) director, requiring male and female ...

Read Full Post

I boycotted IoBM’s convocation because of its prevalent misogyny and commercialisation

It was a day I wanted to dedicate to my parents; a day which would have made me realise that I am a normal person – a knowledge seeker who loved to study and who managed to not get the label of a ‘drop out’. It was a day which would have amassed all the bits of happiness from the six years of exhaustive struggle of getting a university education, finally making me smile cheerfully. But no, I had to stand by the principles I had learnt all these years, while studying independently as well as at my college, and ...

Read Full Post

The length of my sleeves has nothing to do with my ghairat

A university in Faisalabad has decided to impose a clothing restriction on its students and staff. Like always, the opinions on it have now been divided into the two most common categories: the beyghairat (shameless) liberals and the ghairat brigade (moral brigade). The beyghairat liberals argue that such a code is superfluous and ridiculous. They believe that enforcing such a code is unnecessary considering that the students are adults; they can decide for themselves what is right and wrong. They don’t need a code like this to try enforcing such decisions. The ghairat brigade supports the implementation of a dress code, ...

Read Full Post

Once bitten twice shy? Not if you’re part of PCB’s selection committee!

Pakistanis live in the age of nostalgia. A 67-year-old Bambi, still struggling to get on its feet, one step forward, two steps back, sprawled spectacularly on the floor. A nation dead set on moving backwards. From our political affiliations, religious oppression, blasphemous laws, dress-codes to the selection of our cricket team, ours is a generation that shall wistfully flip through old photos unable to grasp the reality of who we were and what we could be, unable to move forward. If you skim through the list of the 30 probables sent for the 2015 World Cup team, there’s no need to ...

Read Full Post

Slapping Gauhar Khan with the ‘Muslim’ card

It was interesting to read the incident about Gauhar Khan, the Muslim Bollywood actress, who was slapped during her attendance as a presenter at the reality show ‘India’s Raw Star’ on Sunday. The matter is thought provoking because Akil Malik, the 24-year-old man who slapped her, claimed that he did so because being a Muslim, she was wearing an inappropriately short and revealing dress. After the incident, Malik did not resist arrest, indicating that he was in no way ashamed of what he had done. Malik’s reason for the slap changes the entire context of the story, taking it out of the boundaries of ...

Read Full Post

Raja Naeem, you don’t need to wear a shalwar kameez to be able to pray

A few days ago, I came across a story of a US-based Pakistani driver, Raja Naeem, who was seen protesting against the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, outside City Hall in St Louis, US, along with two dozen other taxi drivers. The reason being; he felt that he was being deprived of his right to wear his ‘religious dress’ during work hours. Naeem has also filed a case against the taxi commission for discriminating against him and not letting him fulfil his ‘religious obligations’. Although I believe Naeem has all the right in the world to protest and follow his religion, what I failed to understand ...

Read Full Post

My university, NUST, grooms to minimise differences

The dress code at NUST (National University of Science & Technology) has cooked up quite a storm and as a student at the prestigious institution, this is what I have to say: “It was an overreaction.” The match that struck the flame was an image of a student fine notice stuck to a bulletin board at the university. This image, detailing what the students were being fined for, went viral. I admit that the grammar used in the notice was less than satisfactory including the terms ‘wearing tight’, ‘no dopata’ and so forth; but this error has been unfairly used to ...

Read Full Post

NUST: What’s so bad about a dress-code?

Since the concept of morality is fraught with subjectivity, any public discourse over it is always going to stir up a few emotions. Add to that a society, which has no qualms in projecting ostentatious displays of disposition or for that matter their disinclination towards religion; it can then stir up more than a few emotions. By now you have probably already heard, read, tweeted or shared the infamous news story regarding the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), that it imposed fines on some of its students for a dress code violation. Even though that was really the ...

Read Full Post

At NUST: Fined for ‘wearing tight’ or no ‘dopatta’

As its contribution towards disciplining the youth of this country, the National University of Sciences and Technology (Nust) imposes fines on students for breaking their dress code. In their haste to fine students for wearing jeans and not wearing a dupatta they overlook something called grammar. No one is perfect, but when one is running an institution of higher learning perhaps one should have higher expectations. However, I digress. According to dawn.com, Nust has denied the report and stated only that students are instructed to wear ‘decent’ dresses. The fact, however, remains is that this isn’t the first time students have been fined at Nust or ...

Read Full Post