Ayesha Yousafzai

PESHAWAR: The University of Peshawar (UoP) through an announcement has made the students bound to wear ‘decent’ clothes.

The university administration in a notification has directed the students to follow the new dress code and wear their identity cards all times while in university. According to the instructions, women must wear white shalwar with kameez of their own choice, while men should wear “decent/modest” clothes. However, the term decent or modest has not been explained further.

A spokesman for the university said the dress code will ensure that students wear similar-looking clothes when they come to the campus. He said the dress code will save students from inferiority complex and also reduce the expenses of parents on dresses of their children.

Zona Javed, a student of Mass Communication Department of UoP, said while talking to TNN that she supports the decision of the university administration.

“The first thing for a student is to look like a student. Our society gives respect to women who observe pardah. This decision will promote harmony within the university students,” she said.

Another journalism student said she opposes the decision. She said the university students must not be treated as school or college students. She said the university must focus on other pressing problems rather than dress code. She argued that unnecessary bans can spoil future talent.

The general public is also divided on the dress code for university students. The supporters of the dress code believe that it would give parents and students rid of the headache of daily choice of dress while going to university and students will focus on their studies.

Earlier in January, the Hazara University in Mansehra told women to wear shalwar kameez, along with a dupatta, chaddar, or abaya. Heavy make-up, jewellery, and expensive handbags were banned under the new rules. Men were told to wear either formal eastern or western attire. Students cannot wear cut, torn, or skin-fitted jeans, shorts, slippers, and accessories like earrings and chains. The varsity made simple, formal hair and beard styles mandatory.

Following the footsteps of Hazara University, Bacha Khan University Charsadda also declared wearing of abaya mandatory for women and banned wearing of heels. The university administration had also banned make-up and wearing of tight dresses by women.

The KP government says the universities are independent in making decision about dress code.

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