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Any form of patriarchy frowned upon: Kerala HC condemns hostel curfew for women

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Any form of patriarchy frowned upon: Kerala HC condemns hostel curfew for women
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Kochi: On November 30, the Kerala High Court disapproved of the display of patriarchy in educational institutions through the implementation of curfews. "Any patriarchism — even in the guise of offering protection based on gender — would have to be frowned upon because girls, as much as boys, are fully capable of taking care of themselves," Justice Devan Ramachandran observed while hearing a plea by a few women students of the Government Medical College Kozhikode.

The students had contested a Higher Education Department notice that forbade female students from leaving the hostel after 9.30 p.m., the News Minute reported.

The students had earlier in the week opposed the curfew, which they claimed largely exclusively applied to female students and not to male students.

After hearing the case, the court made the observation that the time curfew can only be justified if "compelling reasons are shown." The court further noted that because the reading rooms and libraries close at 9.30 p.m., students would have no need to venture outside after that time, which was one of the factors considered in setting the curfew. "However, there can also be situations where students would want to walk out at night, for other reasons, as they may deem. This has been restricted," the court observed and said that the appropriate authorities have to explain why they were enforcing the curfew.

Justice Ramachandran cited the University Grants Commission regulations that state curfews must be implemented while keeping in mind the fact that students' rights, particularly those of women students, cannot be restricted.

"Any patriarchism — even in the guise of offering protection based on gender — would have to be frowned upon because girls, as much as boys, are fully capable of taking care of themselves; and if not, it must be the endeavour of the state and the public authorities to make them so competent, rather than being locked in," the judge said and adjourned the case for hearing on December 7.

Kozhikode Government Medical College students protested the curfew at the college hostel earlier in November. Despite being intended for everyone on paper, they said that only the female students were subject to the curfew's stringent enforcement while the men were free to come and go as they wanted.



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TAGS:Kerala HC medical college Hostel Curfew 
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