Colleges in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, has said that female students would be banned from wearing jeans and other Western clothes to halt sexual harassment by male classmates.
"Girls who choose to wear jeans will be expelled from the college," Meeta Jamal, principal of the Dayanand girls' college in Kanpur city told AFP. "This is the only way to stop crime against women."
AdvertisementA growing number of colleges in Uttar Pradesh have decided to outlaw jeans, shorts, tight blouses and miniskirts on campus in an attempt to crack down on "Eve-teasing" as sexual harassment is known in India.
But many of the students, who are aged between 17 and 20, said the new rules punished innocent females rather than tackling the men who treated women badly.
"Banning any clothing will certainly never solve the issue of sexual harassment," said Uzma, a graduate student from Lucknow University who declined to give her full name.
Hindu extremist groups have in recent months attacked women drinking in pubs and threatened couples who make public displays of affection.
The vigilantes claimed they were acting to protect India's conservative values against the spreading influence of Western culture.
Some colleges elsewhere in the country have previously banned the wearing of jeans, but protests from students forced the dress regulations to be reversed.