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Semantee Chattopadhyay
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The gender bias in numerous Indian hostels is unapologetic. The Hindu college in Delhi was all over the news a few years back because of its sexist hostel norms. The rules listed included to dress decently, no visitors were to be allowed without prior permission, only one night out in the whole month and provision for random checks by wardens. Many hostels in India also have a short on-time for girls whereas these rules don’t exist for boys. These rules are generally made to ensure the safety of the students and ensure the decorum in the hostels. Along with these rules there also exists moral policing. Often the wordings are seen humiliating the girls who break the rules sometimes. They often raise objections to their characters and publicly humiliate them. Many of the female hostelers all over India have reported that the wardens take it upon themselves to “protect the modesty” of the girls.
In a report by The Wire, “In the college of engineering Trivandrum CET, for instance, the curfew for a female hosteller is 6:30 p.m. Unsurprisingly for anyone who has been a student in India no similar rule exists for the male students.”
Most universities all over India do not have gender-neutral hostels. The hostels that consider transgenders, queers and people of other sexual orientation are usually not found. A transgender student at the University of Hyderabad recalled that she was humiliated by the guard who said that she did not belong to the ladies hostel. The Transgender Persons (protection of rights act) 2019, prohibits discrimination against trans persons. But the law is perfect as transgender persons have pointed out several mistakes which lead to gender discrimination. Trans women in men’s hostels and trans men in women’s hostels have faced violence which has often lead to distress and distress and dysphoria.