Rawalpur, Pakistan – When you are enrolled in a government college in Rawilpinder, the first thing you might be asked to do is to sign an affidavit saying that you are a woman.
The government of Punjab has been cracking down on female students since the 1970s, when it imposed a mandatory ban on wearing veils.
It has imposed several other laws since then.
Women students in Punjab have been subject to harassment and physical violence, as they are required to wear a veil in public.
Now the state government has announced that women students in public education institutions in Rawdarpinderi will be given permission to wear veils and other religious headgear if they are not “abnormal”.
The proposal is in response to a court order that had barred the state from restricting the religious dress of women in public institutions, which it had done in 2015.
According to the draft resolution of the education department of Punjab, which was circulated in the state Assembly, the government has decided to permit women students to wear veil in some institutions.
However, a senior official in the education ministry told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that the government was in the process of drafting a resolution and would send it to the central government soon.
“We are working on drafting a proposal for a proposal and it will be sent to the Union government,” he said.
The draft resolution was circulated on Monday evening in the Punjab Assembly.
According to a copy of the resolution circulated by the education minister, “The government is ready to grant permission for women students who are not normal to wear religious head gear, like veils, as long as they wear it in a manner consistent with religious rules and norms and in a non-obtrusive manner.”
According to an official with the department of education, there is a requirement that every student has to wear the veil and be accompanied by an adult.
The official added that the decision to allow women to wear hijab is a step in the right direction.
“In schools, students must be accompanied in classes by a male teacher,” he added.
The official said the proposal was being drafted for the education secretary, who is responsible for the welfare of all education staff.