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University in India asks female employees to leave campus by 6pm for their own safety

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R. C. Sobti, the vice-chancellor (VC) of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, India, has requested that female employees do not stay in their offices after 6pm.

Lucknow university

The order is reportedly intended to keep women safe, and it asks that women seek permission from the VC if they wish to stay in the office later.

University spokesperson Govind Pandey said that the order comes after "a number of untoward incidents", adding that the order is intended "to avoid such episodes".

Some have questioned why the order only applies to female employees and not also to female students and women teachers, as one anonymous female officer said: "If the office is unsafe for women, then the campus must also be unsafe for the girls studying here."

Another employee challenged why the order did not also address the safety of male officers, asking "Won’t they require security too, if they have to work till late?"

Concerns have been raised over how the order will interfere with the work of female employees, and it has also been questioned why the order is necessary following recent installation of CCTV which had cost RS 1 Crore.

The order has been criticised further, with some seeing it as a challenge to the freedom of female employees, and others considering it to be obstructive and interfering with womens' abilities to do their jobs.

One anonymous officer asked: "Is the university trying to shut out women in the name of security?"

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