Sexism in an Indian University

Saanvi (not her real name as she’s afraid of reprisal for her criticism) is a student at a prestigious public technology university In the state of Uttarakhand. She emailed that she doesn’t feel she’s living in 2014 because the university has pathetic and “serious gender issues” with no Women’s Studies courses or a student women’s center. Female students have a curfew for their dormitory and are not allowed to leave the campus without a permit and accompanied by a family member, like a jail, but the males have free access. Some visit the red light district in Delhi. The university frowns on a male and female couple walking together; a visiting administrator saw a few couples and made new rules against them. “The worst thing is the girls themselves are very meek. No one wants to risk their degree or no one wants to work hard for their rights. Why? Because they already have been brought up in male-dominant homes.” I asked if she had protested the double standard. She wrote an anonymous letter to the Dean of Student Welfare with no results. She’s afraid that “if the university administration finds out about my complaining nature, they might play with my future.”

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