Gender Discrimination in DU Hostel Fees: A #pinjratod Report
Pinjratod conducted a study on hostel fees paid for ten months in 13 main undergraduate hostels and 12 main postgraduate hostels of Delhi University. Our findings reveal an outrageous practice of gender discrimination with regard to hostel fees in Delhi University. These findings are also part of our report submitted to the Delhi Commission of Women.
- When we calculated the monthly average hostel fee for men and women, we found that the University forces women students to pay an average of Rs.2958 every month more than men for undergraduate, and Rs2614 more for postgraduate. This amounts to Rs.29,580 more for undergraduate, and Rs.26,140 more for postgraduates, over the next ten months. Women have to fight a lot of social stigma and prejudice to be able to study in Universities. The University should be financially aiding them and not penalising them for it by making it all the more difficult to manage expenses. Anyway, the hostel curfews already make it impossible for women to engage in any form of employment to independently support their studies.
- The men’s hostel with the lowest fees is Mansarovar Postgraduate Hostel at Rs.24,295, whereas the women’s hostel with lowest fees is SRCC Undergraduate Hostel at Rs.40,000. The most expensive men’s hostel is VKRV Rao Postgraduate Hostel at Rs.81,960, whereas there are four women’s hostels whose fees exceeds Rs. 1,00,000 a year.
- We also found that the men’s hostel charge a small amount initially as Annual Charges or Admission charges. The rest of the fee is to be paid in monthly installments. In stark contrast, women’s hostels require students to pay a hefty lump sum amount upfront right at the time of the admission, as the annual charges are significantly higher. This is also on the same month as when students have to pay their tuition fees and travel to the city with their luggage. The rest of the fee is again to be paid in fixed amounts by a fixed period of time, with any delay leading to fines.
- We have additionally found that in certain hostels, women are made to pay more for their own ‘safety’ through extra charges for security guards.
When contacted by Hindustan Times on the matter, the Delhi University administration has once again come up with its old defense of how it is not them, but the separate governing councils of hostels who determines the fees and hence it is not discrimination. This is the same excuse we have been given time and again with regard to discriminatory and sexist hostel regulations.
The university authorities cannot absolve themselves of the responsibilitythey have over how university run hostels are run. If the hostels run on no profit/no loss basis as the university official claims, the university must explain why it is so much more expensive to run women’s hostels as opposed to men’s hostels? What are these so-called ‘facilities’ that only women seem to need which make their hostels so much more expensive?
We want to make it clear that we do not want the fees of men’s hostels to be increased so that they can be brought at par with women’s hostels. What we demand is affordable and accessible accommodation for ALL students and especially for students from marginalised groups.
More information on the sample, methodology and data of the study, can be provided if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.