District Education Officer In Haripur Just Made Abaya Mandatory For Young Girls And Everyone's Pissed

By Janita Tahir | 16 Sep, 2019

Haripur just added its name to one of the most WTF places for women


A notification addressed from District Education Officer of Haripur Samina Altaf  just circulated on social media where she has made abaya mandatory for young girls

The circular made it mandatory for female students to wear an abaya or chaddar to all government schools. This rule was apparently made in order to protect the girls from the daily harassment and teasing they were facing while going to and from the school.

Source: @mubarak74 / Twitter

One of the DEO’s subordinate commented that a good number of girl students wear a dupatta or ‘half chaddar’, which apparently does not properly cover their bodies.

She added that since providing police protection to girl students at every nook and corner was not possible, the administration had decided to enforce this dress code upon them so they can observe “proper purdah for their own safety”.


This notification has obviously pissed off people because instead of giving young girls a safe space to go to school they are reprimanding them for “not covering enough” as if women in abaya never get harassed

Some were enraged that Pakistan has still not even made any progress on this front, while constantly trolling other nations for their achievements.


Some people said Haripur is going back to the Stone Age

They highlighted how this was a move towards regression and not a healthy step forward towards changing mindsets.


Others are even wondering if this is even real

Since the order was issued by the district education authorities and not directly from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, people are wondering if the DEO even has the authority to do this.


Even Shehzad Roy expressed his frustration with this stupid letter

Shehzad Roy stressed on the fact that instead of trying to change the societal conditions, we focus on putting more restrictions on girls which limit them on the whole. So the right way to go about this is trying to change this unsafe environment in the first place.


People said this circular was another name for incompetency to protect women

It was noted that the school was shying away from its responsibility of making the school a safe environment for the female students and instead was forcing them to ensure their own safety by compelling them to wear abayas.


People rightfully questioned why boys weren’t being taught good behavior

People wondered how it was okay that the solution for this was asking girls to change instead of ensuring that boys behaved. It seemed a little like the victim being admonished instead of the perpetrator.

They said that wearing an abaya is okay but you should have an option to choose. Taking away that option is what makes things ridiculous.


People believed it still won’t stop harassment

An issue that was raised was that the root of sexual assault and harassment is the corrupted mindsets and not women’s clothes and unless nothing is being done to change the former, changing the latter won’t help.


However, there have been people who supported the idea

They stressed that these new rules were in-line with the Islamic norms and should not be unnecessarily condemned.


Liberal Pakistanis were dragged

They shaded the people calling for a reversal of order by calling them ‘desk liberals’.


Some Haripur residents themselves welcomed the change

They reminded people that we live in an Islamic state and should adopt values that are in line with Islam.


They expressed that it was their culture

People living in Haripur said the dress code was part of their ways and not something controversial.


Enforcing rules will always be controversial. From a liberal point of view, the outrage on this is understandable, after all, why should you take away the right to choose on this matter? And why isn’t anything at all being done to curb the mindset giving birth to these heinous crimes of assault?

However, from the perspective of most people living in areas like Haripur, where people prefer to be safe than sorry and assault is dangerously prevalent, using chaddars and abayas as tools of defense does give them comfort, I guess.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments.


Ladies, Here’s What The Clothes You Wear Reveal About Your True Character

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Cover image via: @mubarak74 via Twitter / dawn.com

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