After Public Backlash, KP Govt Withdraws Mandatory Abaya Order for Female Students

Saner minds prevailed.

mandatory burka

Recently government officials in Peshawar ordered schoolgirls to come to school all covered up, making it compulsory to don an abaya in order ‘ to avoid unethical incidents‘. After severe public backlash, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Chief Minister took back the order.

It’s a good thing that announcement came in time. Generally speaking,  women in Peshawar are already modest in terms of their choice of attire.

But to ask these young girls to cover up more despite the existing cultural norms in KP? This is deeply problematic for many reasons. People are not ok with the authorities implying that it is women who are responsible for any assault they face. Talk about blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator.


Here’s How One Man’s Struggle Against Forced Marriage in KPK Became Law

Good thing that saner minds prevailed and the notification was retracted by KP’s Chief Minister, Shaukat Yousafzai.

Minister of Human Rights, Shireen Mazari even offered her take on the issue of how regulating women’s clothing rather than the provision of safety and basic responsibility in a welfare state, was a reflection of General Zia’s regime.

She even acknowledged how they need to battle that mindset that proposed mandatory burka as a solution to curb harassment and gender violence.


6 Resolutions KP Assembly Could Have Passed Instead of the One Against Aurat March


This isn’t the first time such an announcement came up. Previously, Haripur issued a similar order. To be honest there hasn’t been awareness and advocacy campaigns with change agents to curb this mentality in the past.

Mandatory Burka?

This still doesn’t explain how did this happen to begin with. Who had the idea of enforcing a mandatory burka for school children to avoid ‘unethical incidents’?

A notice was circulated from the Peshawar District Officer, Samina Ghani’s office, enforcing compulsory burka for school-girls’ safety.

mandatory burka
Peshawar District Officer’s notice enforcing burka for school-girls

By writing off such attacks against women as ‘it’s because of you were wearing‘, the authorities have placed the responsibility of harassment on women.


Female Turkish Tourist Gets Stopped By Mullah And Forced to Recite Kalma [Video]


In reality, harassment is about forcefully taking what you want. It’s a disregard for consent, common human decency, and basic human rights. We still see women in burkas and abayas being oogled and harassed by men. So we’re not sure whether enforcing a stricter dress code is the answer here.

Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) volunteer Shehzad Roy understood that and lauded the KP Chief Minister for retracting the notification.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *