Dress code for women on campus!

About two weeks ago, we have seen how the administration of Sufia Kamal Hall of Dhaka University have tried to discipline women’s attire by suggesting what should they were even when they are inside the hall. We also know that BRAC University has a dress code that is very gendered.  Amid students’ outrage in social media, the hall administration was compelled to take down the notice. In this context, New Age Youth have asked students about the male dominant nature of the university administrations.


As a student, what do you think should be done to change the patriarchal attitude of the university administrations?


Samia Lira

Samia Sultana Lira

University of Dhaka

Imposing regulations on dress of women student is not new in our society. Every now and then women are victim of harsh and bad remarks, no matter what they wear. Even full-body covering can’t protect them from bad names and abuses.

Here women are sex-toys, so they are meant to be inside home. Even if they get outside, they should be acting like a packet of clothes, lest the ‘gentlemen’ should lose their control and get aggressive.

Society is trapped in its prejudices. Recently, when Sufia Kamal hall of Dhaka University held a notice asking not to wear t-shirt on top of salwar, I was wandering what was the problem with t-shirt or salwar, or the combination of both? Then I found out it was neither the dress nor the combination, the problem lies in the word ‘female’. Ever heard boys are not meant to wear shorts outside showing their hairy legs? No, ‘cause they’re ‘men’.

Maybe it’s time to put light on our sexist view of society taking away eyes from dresses of women.



Adrita Roy

Birshreshtha Noor Mohammad Public College

A major problem in our country is societal perspective. However much we shout — we need to change this or that, until and unless we change our perspective, there is no solution to any problem. For example, the notice that was circulated in one of the halls of Dhaka University that woman cannot wear palazzo and t-shirt inside the university. The problem here is not about what women students wear but the prejudiced view of the people who finds it indecent. How you see others attire is your problem! Internationally, in other countries, this is often not the problem. Do you know why? Because, they don’t see women differently. In what attire women feel comfortable is women’s own matter, why would anyone else interfere with that decision? In notice like this, in fact it is the hall administrations backward view that is revealed. In the highly regarded university, it is surprising that instead of changing their view, they are trying to hide women under clothing. As a student, this patriarchal attitude of the hall administration is absolutely unacceptable to me. Why women’s clothing would be blamed for anything and everything? Such patriarchal view must changed. The university administration should take actions against those who hold such a view and guarantee freedom for women.



Anika Anjum

At the residential semester, I used to run every morning in capris and in the tropical summer sun. I was called aside to be told to cover up—it was apparently against the dress code. But at the main campus, I was told ‘tomar belaey nebo, shokhi, tomar kaaner shona’ as a man eyed the seven pieces of golden studs on my ears, whilst I handed him my bag prior to entering the computer lab. The problem, as you can see, is not only the dress code—I’m sure there is nothing about a number of piercings permissible. Both these events were acts of disciplining. Codes are arbitrary sets of values set by a hegemonic group who has the power to enforce them. The problem lies with this group and those who enjoy these normative standards by the virtue of identifying with this group’s values.

A person unaffected by a rule should not be allowed to make it. If there indeed is a reason as to why a dress-code should exist, start with removing men from the body that makes decisions about women students’ clothes, and add women student representatives since it is our bodies in question. And when someone has the audacity to complain about how their women classmates’ clothes are ‘distracting’, send them back to their dorms instead, till they learn how to function in a civil society. The only message that sending women students to change into ‘socially acceptable’ clothing gives is that men students’ opinions matter more than women students’ education or experiences. We enrol at universities as fully capable human beings and we will not be infantilised, sexualised, or patronised in a space we have right to as much as anyone else.



Sarah Masud

North South University

It is certainly very odd that Bangladesh being one of the countries which has a female Prime Minister to be a male dominant country.

These incidents of Sufia Kamal hall or BRAC University are nothing new. A female should always wear ‘decent’ clothes. By decent, it is strictly salwar kameez or saree, and of course no sleeveless. I mean might as well say what I should wear than giving me the option to decide what is ‘decent’; It is quite often we see our male counterparts wearing t-shirts with offensive messages walking in the University premise and not being questioned or sent back home to change. According to me, changing this forever masculine culture is going to be very hard, but how about some equality? How about this idea of ‘dress code’ is not only forced on the females? I think it would be fancy if the male wore formals everyday too. To be honest, If I am not allowed to wear casual, I would definitely be happier if the males are not allowed to wear lousy clothes as well.



Ratul Rahman

Dhaka University

University is the place of open minded practice. University life is the high time to perceive the savor of independence. Dress code can be an impediment to this freedom. A fixed dress code like school and college is by no means covetable. For example, students of Military Institute of Science and Technology have dress code which can be hardly differentiated from Schools and colleges. We have the coincidence of Kobi Sufia Kamal Hall of the previous week which is really frustrating. It is indispensible to appoint all female employees in all female halls. It is better to change a few male stuffs rather than changing the behavior of many students.



Comments are closed.