Abolish Dress Code- Atheists To University Of Eldoret

AIKS president Harrison Mumia termed the regulations enforced unrealistic

Abolish Dress Code- Atheists To University Of Eldoret
A collage of mini skirts and ripped jeans among dress code items banned from University of Eldoret. /VIRALTEAKE

The Atheists In Kenya Society (AIKS) has demanded the University of Eldoret to stop enforcing its dress code policy on its students.

In a statement dated Wednesday, January 25, AIKS president Harrison Mumia termed the regulations enforced recently unrealistic, adding that they take away the freedom of expression.

Article 19 of the Constitution of Kenya with regards to the freedom of expression states that everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

Mumia further noted that the policy only contributes more to women being viewed as objects that should be covered.

Atheists in Kenya Society (AIKS) president, Harrison Mumia. /THE STAR

"The dress-code regulations that are currently being enforced by the University of Eldoret are impractical. They do not give room for flexibility and expression. We are opposed to them.

"The policy inadvertently contributes to sexual objectification by making reference to female body parts (tumbo-cut, skin-tight). Girls’ bodies are being treated as dirty, ugly objects that must be covered. The rules seem to suggest that girls should be responsible for how boys view them and that their clothing choices are responsible for boys’ inability to focus or learn," the statement read in part.

AIKS added that the university's dress code rules do not address the realities of poverty and social class.

"Some students wear what they can afford and what’s available to them. A short skirt or tight top is not necessarily an attempt to ignore school rules," he added.

Mumia and the AIKS demand that the university ceases the enforcement of the dress code rules with immediate effect.

The university on Monday, January 23 began turning away students for non-compliance to the policy, forcing them to go back home and change into new outfits. How one was dressed determined whether or not one could be admitted into the lecture halls.

“I have been turned away because of my dress code and currently I have no money to buy new clothes,” a student told Citizen TV.

Some of the learners were however in support of the institution's decision to enforce a dress policy for learners in the school.

“You find a lady dressed in a miniskirt and ‘tumbo cut’, and she is in class, getting all attention," another student weighed in.

Kenya University Student Organization (KUSO) President Anthony Manyara accused the university as well as the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) and St Paul's University of threatening their students with consequences for failing to adhere to the dress code policies as depicted in memos that went viral on social media.

He called upon all university students to shun any dress code policies imposed on them by their respective institutions, terming them oppressive and retrogressive to student life on campus, vowing consequences on any institution found to be targeting students or profiling them for dressing in a manner that its administration finds unfit for the conduct of the university.

List of female items banned from University of Eldoret's dress code. /FILE