Following the uproar, KP government withdraws Abaya notification
The initial notification made it mandatory for the female students studying in government schools of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to cover themselves. The district education officer made it mandatory for the principals and headmistresses of government schools to make sure that the female students, from secondary to higher level, wear an abaya, gown or chador to cover themselves.
According to the provincial officers, the step was taken to ensure safety against harassment and ‘unethical’ incident.
“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,” the circular said.
“A good number of girl students have developed a habit of wearing dupatta or ‘half chador’, which is not sufficient to cover their bodies,” the official added. In reply to a question, she said since providing police protection to girl students at every nook and corner was not possible, the administration had decided to make it binding upon them to observe “proper purdah for their safety”, the official said, speaking to a local news source.
The decision was taken without consultation:
Following the uproar from across the country, the notification has been reversed. Secretary Arshid Khan said that the DEOs did not take any department or even the Chief Minister in confidence over the matter. The notification was unnecessary and there was no urgency for such orders, the secretary added.
The chief minister on elementary and secondary education, Ziaullah Bangash, defended the decision earlier, saying that the parents of female students have shown concern over the growing incidents of harassment and hence the move for necessary.
However, the government has said that Pakistan is a free country and everyone has the right to dress up as thet want to.
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