Over 200 resident students of the women's hostel Thiruvananthapuram College of Engineering sat outside their hostel gates all night to protest against harsh curfews for women. Their curfew is 6:30 pm, whereas the deadline for the boys is 10 pm.
This isn't an issue restricted to Kerala alone. In Delhi University, the curfew time for women can be anything between 6 pm to 8 pm whereas boys don't have a curfew at all.
According to this report by NDTV, the lack of a compound wall around the girls hostel makes the authorities believe it unsafe for girls to be out post 6:30 pm. "Why lock us up everyday at 6:30 pm?" lamented a few protesting students who don't want to be "jailed" for the lack of security measures.
The protest has been gaining popularity, with a Facebook page dedicated to the issue and regular street plays enacted in and around the area to gain awareness about the inequality.
“When we gave the notice of this protest to the authorities, they tried to stop it in many ways. First they said, they will deny permission for the upcoming hostel day celebrations. Then they said they will call up the parents of all the students who join the protest. But the overwhelming participation today is a sign that such intimidation would not work,” said one of the student protestors in a report by The Hindu.
The protests allegedly began when a bunch of girls complained to the authorities about lengthy procedures to use the Library and Computer Lab, both of which are open till 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm respectively.
They also complained about being given easier projects as women, ones that don't involve too much outdoor time or running around.
However the College Principal, S Sheela, is not backing down from her decision. She told NDTV last month, "The campus is unsafe for women after 6.30pm. We cannot take any decision without parents' consent."
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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2015 13:07:40 IST