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Many Bangalore colleges have said they have a problem of “too many girls”, so they’re going to “fix it” by having higher cutoffs for girls, between 2-5% higher than boys. This is illegal!
It is scary to note that institutions of education that should fundamentally remain equal spaces are turning into places for institutionalized misogyny and gender-based discrimination operate. There are several reasons why the average classroom needs appropriate interventions to ensure that they are up to par vis-à-vis equality. Think of the attrition of girls in higher levels of education, the lack of spaces at school / college that feel safe for those who identify beyond the binary, the general belief that a son’s education is worthy of prioritization over a daughter’s… I could go on.
Consider this. The government of Karnataka has recently done a U-turn on the diversity checks put in place to improve girls’ education at PU level: labouring under the “belief” (what do you call it?) that these colleges now have a problem of “too many girls,” (what the hell is this ridiculousness?!) they have decided to set a higher cut-off mark for girls for admission into the PU / pre-university level courses. And here is the best part: they say that the idea behind this is to improve access to education for girls.
No, Government of Karnataka. Not at all.
A Times of India report quoted the Vice Chancellor of Bengaluru’s Christ University, saying that he “stated that the reason behind setting higher cutoffs was to ensure ‘gender balance’ in classrooms.” He reportedly told them, “If there is no higher cut off, the college will have only girls. The higher cut off is to bring gender balance.”
This move is both ridiculous and self-serving for the patriarchy, because its agenda has always been to delegitimize pursuits of and participation in public life on part of women. It is also completely antagonistic to the Constitution of India. Article 14, which speaks about the concept of classifications toward legislating / framing policies for equality, says that any classification made to serve the needs of a particular group must fulfill two criteria. One, such a classification must be reasonable. Two, such a classification must bear a reasonable nexus to the outcome sought to be achieved.
Take a minute to recognize the fact that these were the men for whom the slow clap was invented. If Infinity Wars made you pull your hair at Thanos’ logic, heh, my friend, just take one look at this masterpiece of a decision.
Sarcasm aside, this feels like one more heavy nail driven into the coffin that now carries the very, very, very severely dead body of women’s rights. The Security Council of the United Nations recently passed resolution 2467, which addressed sexual violence in conflict without mentioning “sexual and reproductive health rights” because the US threatened a veto if “women’s rights were spoken of that way.” Alabama, USA has decided to throw women’s rights over their bodies under the bus. Joining them, and piteously no less that this is the company it wants to keep, Karnataka has decided to throw women’s rights over their intellectual pursuits under the bus.
This is dangerous.
Image source: Flickr
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