Curfew in women's hostels a patriarchial practice: Kerala HC

Is the State not even able to give students protection within their own campus?” asked the court. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday criticised the practice of curfew in ladies hostels and said controlling women in the name of safety can't be justified.

It is a patriarchal practice, observed the court.

Justice Devan Ramachandran made the observation while considering the plea of women students of Calicut Medical College, who questioned the practice of not being allowed to go out of their hostel after 9.30 pm.

“Controlling girl students in the name of safety is not a practice that suits a civil society. Such practices are part of patriarchy. On what basis is it being said that they shouldn't even walk inside the campus? In the name of safety? Is the State not even able to give students protection within their own campus?” asked the court.

The bench also asked whether the hostel is a jail or the students, kids. “They are adults old enough to elect the the prime minister of the country. Is locking away girls the solution for safety issues? Do you think they will be attacked only after 9.30 pm if there are such problems? Lock away the attackers. Don't look down upon the girls saying they can't protect themselves. They can,” observed the court.

As per UGC (University Grants Commission) norm, no restrictions should be implemented in the name of society, nor should gender discrimination be practiced.

The court further ordered the state government to avoid such instances and explain the reasons for implementing these rules.

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