There is a trend in some Indian schools to stop students from wearing western fashion such as jeans, short skirts, dresses and t-shirts.
The latest to ban western fashion is the administration of the Indian Adarsh Women’s College in Haryana state, near New Delhi The administration says it believes jeans may provoke sexual harassment and banned them along with short skirts, dresses, and t-shirts and introducing a fine for breaching the dress code.
Students and human rights movements in India expressed outrage at the decision, and believe that these kind of restrictions will do nothing to reduce the sexual harassment in the country.
According to a female college student “A ban on wearing jeans and T-shirts doesn’t mean that there will be no crimes and boys will not pass lewd comments on you. Men who want to eve-tease can do it if a girl wore Indian clothes also. I don’t think dressing in Indian attire will bring a change.”
The term ‘eve-teasing’ is a term used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to describe a variety of sexual offences against girls, ranging from verbal insults to more serious sexual assault.
In an interview with the news agency AFP, the headmaster of the college, Alaka Sharma said: “We have imposed a ban on jeans and T-shirts because these are completely westernised – and banned short dresses.” She went on to say that clothing which does not cover enough of the girls’ bodies might attract sexual harassment, while the wearing of jeans and short tops might “invite attraction and distract the students.”
If a student disobeys the new college rules they face a fine of 100 rupees.