Pinjra Tod held a press conference on May 9, 2016, reacting to the issuing of notices by the Delhi Commission for Women to universities in Delhi University based on the exhaustive report submitted to the state body by them. The report, which was submitted in November last year, documents testimonials and experiences from women students across colleges and universities in Delhi and includes a comparative study of men’s and women’s hostels under Delhi University to prove that women students pay much more than their male counterparts.
The notices have been issued to all 23 registered universities in Delhi, as well as all undergraduate colleges under Delhi University which have women’s hostels. The DCW has instituted an enquiry based on several findings included in the Pinjra Tod report and has asked the universities for a response within 15 days’ time. The various questions the Commission has asked the universities and colleges to respond to include the number of students in hostel disaggregated by gender, the entry and exit time restrictions in the hostel, and the annual hostel fees charged disaggregated by gender. The notice also raised questions on the constitutionality of the current rules in effect in universities across the country. For a state body to recognise this will have implications not just for the universities directly questioned but for institutes across the country.
The notice has been welcomed and is been seen as a powerful achievement by Pinjra Tod, which has emerged as a strong movement of women students across the country fighting against discriminatory practices that plague university life for them. The movement plans to open direct dialogue with college and university administrations about their demands in the coming semester. This is being seen as a necessity, given the lack of response and non-committal progress that has been made following previous notices such as in the case of Jamia Millia Islamia, where the authorities promised to review its hostel rules in the wake of a similar notice last year but nothing concrete changed.
Feature Image: The Facebook page of Pinjra Tod
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