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‘Proper Purdah’ Made Compulsory For Haripur Schoolgirls

The district education office of Haripur is receiving criticism from locals following a decision to make it compulsory for public school girl students to wear an abaya, gown, or chador.

The District Education Officer (DEO) Samina Altaf had issued a notice earlier this week directing all principals and headmistresses of government schools to make sure that their girl students wear the aforementioned clothing.

The circular pertaining to the order said, “Instruct all students to use gown/abaya or chador to veil/conceal/cover up their-self in order to protect them from any unethical incident.”

A report in Dawn cited a subordinate of the DEO as saying that it was necessary to protect girl students from the increasing complaints of eve-teasing and harassment.

The official informed media that girl students had developed a habit of wearing a dupatta which was insufficient to cover their bodies. She added that it was impossible to provide police protection to girl students everywhere. Hence, she said, the administration had decided to make it compulsory to observe ‘proper purdah’.

A social activist and member of Rawadari Tehreek, Umar Farooq, told media that authorities had bound girls to dress against their will when they should have been ensuring the safety of girls.

Regarding the solution to the problem, he emphasised that there should be a gradual change in social attitudes and the inculcation of respect between boys and girls.

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