Faculty member at top educational institute in Karachi gets schooled on ‘improper attire’

Published: October 5, 2017


Controversy and criticism against the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi made rounds on social media on Thursday when a visiting faculty member of the college shared her experience of getting schooled by a security in-charge over her ‘improper attire’.

“Today, I was rudely stopped at the [IoBM] gate by a weird man who said he was the security head, and told that I wasn’t ‘following the dress code’,” the female faculty wrote. “Ladies, please help me understand, how I am a security threat?”.

The teacher’s post on Facebook received quite a reaction as many others also shared their experiences on how they were often ‘humiliated’ by the security officials at the college.


Last year a student movement was launched in the college when female students made a group on social media to amass support against ‘moral policing’ of security guards and the college management.

Unperturbed, IoBM immediately called a disciplinary committee against the admins of the mentioned group and asked the students’ parents to guarantee that their daughters won’t wear un-Islamic, inappropriate dresses in the college. “They told our parents that if we keep on wearing inapt clothes, the Taliban might attack our college,” a student shared on the condition of anonymity.

Retweeting the teacher’s experience on Twitter, journalist Rahma M Mian also recalled that she was once asked by a former president of the institute if she was a Muslim because of her dress.

“As an 18-year-old, I went to my CBM entrance interview, dressed what I thought was appropriate in gray pants and a black button down shirt. The president of the institute asks me right off the bat if I was Muslim,” she wrote.

“When I said yes, he said: ‘this is no way for Muslims to dress. Have respect for the month of Ramazan’. (it was Ramazan),” she added.

“During the course of my teaching stint at IoBM, many female students would come and complain about having been stopped at the university gate for wearing ‘inappropriate’ clothing,” journalist  Zebunnisa Burki, who also taught as a visiting faculty, said.

She shared how students tried to form a union to denounce the policy and repeal it but were suppressed by the management.

“After consistent complaints of such incidents, some students even launched a social media campaign to demand there be a let up in the university’s ‘dress code’; needless to say, the university management did not take kindly to the campaign and the students were forced to disband it. I believe our private universities hold the threat of delayed degrees (or no degree at all) to keep students in check even when the students’ demands are legitimate,” she said.

When contacted, the university’s Public Relations Officer Pervez Jamil said he was not the right person to make a comment on the issue. “You should contact the security in-charge who allegedly stopped the woman, as I am not the relevant official to comment on this issue,” he said.

However, when the security chief of IoBM Sartaj Hussain was asked to comment on the matter, he said: “Come in front of me, only then will I give you my statement.”

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (37)

  • BrainBro
    Oct 6, 2017 - 12:21AM

    Such is the state of business schools in Pakistan. Pity.Recommend

  • pakistan
    Oct 6, 2017 - 9:09AM

    There is no harm following dress codeRecommend

  • concerned
    Oct 6, 2017 - 10:41AM

    Always had high regards for IoBM but after hearing this absurdness i pitty the students studying there. I mean look at the mindset of the faculty. what nonsense is this.Recommend

  • Fariha
    Oct 6, 2017 - 11:25AM

    Stop playing the victim woman. You should abide by the institutional laws of dress code if they demand it. Security personnel did the right thingRecommend

  • Hasan
    Oct 6, 2017 - 12:21PM

    At above comment of user by the name ‘Pakistan’, that reflects part of (the problem):
    Sir/ madam, there is no dress code for grown up adults serving as faculty of graduate institutions.

    One would imagine there are far more (important) things such as research and building of our academia; but then again some of us in parts of south east asia are still living in caves.

    With a mindset like that no wonder we as a nation are occupied with nonsense in our heads rather than science and research.Recommend

  • Habib
    Oct 6, 2017 - 12:24PM

    If anyone does not like the IoBM dress code, then why he or she takes admission there; but all the students have to follow the polices / code of conduct of the educational institutions; first they take admission and then after that they start making hue and cry; what is this? it is an educational institution, not a club or social gathering site. Recommend

  • kp
    Oct 6, 2017 - 2:21PM

    she is a faculty of an university, where grown young generation comes not a kindergarden. Sadly we missed here one main purpose of university education “OPEN THE MIND”Recommend

  • Parvez
    Oct 6, 2017 - 3:26PM

    If the administration of IoBM allows this person to dictate policy…..they will be making a big mistake and if this is the policy of IoBM then this is even worse.Recommend

  • see the light
    Oct 6, 2017 - 3:52PM

    ugh! no wonder educated women would prefer to leave CBM the minute they get a reasonable opportunity…sad to see the growing intolerance in academic institutions…no wonder the society as a whole is how it is…and then people cry about the brain drain…Recommend

  • ibrahim
    Oct 6, 2017 - 4:16PM

    Every institute has a right to determine and enforce its policies which also include the dress code. If you dont like it then dont study over there. There are other institutes available which dont have such policies in place. However agreeing to follow the set rules at the time of taking your admission and then defying ’em later doesn’t make sense.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Oct 6, 2017 - 4:55PM

    What about Dress Code if it is made and approved from IoBM authority then it has to be followed. In institute Like IoBM there is no such massage give that V make rules and U break it up.
    As faculty she must care more than the students.
    Even in universities at Europe they had dress code policy. Recommend

  • Maverick
    Oct 6, 2017 - 5:06PM

    I believe; if you look at the attire of the lady who happens to be a visiting faculty; then it won’t be very hard for you to understand that she looks more like some random street punk then a faculty member. The faculty needs to have some standard; when dressing up for imparting education which is clearly missing here. I myself am an alumni of CBM and during my stint there; I never encountered any faculty member dressed like that. That is absurd at the very best.

    Hats off to security officials for not allowing such irresponsible and non-serious people at the institute.Recommend

  • Ansari
    Oct 6, 2017 - 5:20PM

    Really a good move by university administration. There is a dress code in university that applies to students and faculty members and all should follow it. They should give her a warning and fire her if she doesn’t oblige. If she has such a big problem with dress code, she can leave. Plain and Simple.Recommend

  • AQ
    Oct 6, 2017 - 5:21PM

    Yeah, and they call themselves educated member of the society. They need to learn what educated means.Recommend

  • Umair
    Oct 6, 2017 - 6:28PM

    this is a business school, genius. where does science factor in?Recommend

  • C M Naim
    Oct 6, 2017 - 7:28PM

    The answer of the security officer-in-charge at the end of the story is telling. ‘Come in front of me and I’ll give you my answer.’ Perhaps a punch in the mouth? Recommend

  • tuk
    Oct 6, 2017 - 9:34PM

    Why not let department chairs or deans to decide faculty dress code issues instead of security guards!Recommend

  • Khalid Mirza
    Oct 6, 2017 - 10:14PM

    Business schools have research and ‘management science’ too geniusRecommend

  • Sajjad Ali
    Oct 7, 2017 - 9:28AM

    But they have a defined “dress code” which means no matter what, you need to follow that. Corporate all over the world have defined dress codes and you can’t go against it. It’s not about wearing appropriate or inappropriate. It’s about following dress code and rules, which is a big deal for Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Zar Badshah
    Oct 7, 2017 - 11:09AM

    Security personnel did the right thing.
    Everyone should suppose to follow the rules.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Oct 7, 2017 - 1:49PM

    Moral policing is everywhere in public universities.

    And now just because of the fear of terrorists, the management say they should abide by the ‘law’. Which law? The men’s law? The state’s law?

    The law that allows a teacher to be a mediocre one while wearing what the society wants her to be? Or to be a teacher who bring new ideas to the class room?Recommend

  • kp
    Oct 7, 2017 - 3:19PM

    As you(not me) bring European universities in this context, and as you are giving example of European education institution then let me remind you that on various occasions, Students as well as Faculties went to classes without even clothes, This happens time to time in many fine art departments? so will you follow the same? My point was that we Need to open the mind of young generation not shrink themRecommend

  • irfan
    Oct 7, 2017 - 7:06PM

    I will be more glad if our girls purse PHD and write more research papers , in similar fashion in which they have taken inspiration from western in dressings only. Recommend

  • Raghu
    Oct 8, 2017 - 10:22AM

    Great job the Security man did. I support him.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Oct 9, 2017 - 7:38AM

    No better finery than one’s birthday suit, no ?Recommend

  • ninja
    Oct 12, 2017 - 10:23AM

    Sadly, institutes only know and mention of Islam which suits their interest.

    If I were in place of that girl, I would have asked Shah Jehan Karim, that collecting 3 months fees together and earning interest on that to pay salaries to teachers is also against Islam which educational institutes do. So why do you only remember of Islam when it comes to dress code?Recommend

  • Naasir
    Oct 30, 2017 - 7:33PM

    What is the international code of dress? First time I have heard such nonsense.Recommend

  • Fahad
    Oct 30, 2017 - 11:40PM

    What I utterly fail to understand is why you would go to the university dressed like this???? This is an islamic republic almost every goverment office requires you to wear the traditional clothing (shalwar kameez dupatta), it is basically your uniform. There is a very specific reason why other culture attires are discouraged in islam and this is not some sharia or new law it has been around for 1800 hundred years. Plus being a male I know what other guys think about your western and pakistani attires and trust me you would want to wear the pakistani attire more if only you knew what pakisrani men think.

    What all of you women girls etc need to understand is that there is no version of this where you can justify yourself as correct.

    And the rest Mr. Habib said bestRecommend

  • Muhammad tabish Siddiqui
    Nov 27, 2017 - 11:57AM

    @Khalid Mirza:
    that was a link to continue an argument ,,, Catch the main context rather than focusing on stupid thoughts.Recommend

  • Nisar
    Dec 8, 2017 - 2:45PM

    As per my philosophy Dress code made for furnishing the difference b/w but if there are more critical injustices & differences then it has no benefit to apply it upon poor & busy peoplesRecommend

  • Rab NaVaz
    Dec 19, 2017 - 7:57PM

    Their is no need to cry on this minor incident, u r a visiting faculty member, u have no right to complaint against institution code of conduct. Just leave the IoBM if u don’t like it.Recommend

  • Ravi Rikhye
    Dec 21, 2017 - 9:08PM

    If the institution has a dress code, it should be followed. But is there also a dress code for men also? Is the code written down and explained to faculty members, and have they signed off saying they understand and will comply? Or are these people arbitrarily judging others? Is there something in Islam that dictates dress codes? In any case, security staff has no business monitoring faculty members. The department head is the right person to enforce.Recommend

  • Fatima
    Dec 23, 2017 - 3:40AM

    Thumbs up lady for standing up for yourself and for all the women! We can’t let men dictate what we should wear and what we shouldn’t wear.Recommend

  • Fatima
    Dec 23, 2017 - 3:48AM

    If she is a tutor at a business school, then it is certain she holds a PhD or MPhil degree. What about you? How many research paper of yours have gotten published? By the way girls don’t dress up nicely to please men. And also we don’t write research papers to make men happy.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ajmal
    Jan 20, 2018 - 8:03AM

    i believe that every one has the right to wear any thing which he or she like. but i also believe that second person views also come, without knowing other persons views you dont understand the whole picture. we only see one side of picture, which is ugly. what about other side???Recommend

  • naz
    Jan 29, 2018 - 1:52PM

    Guard did the right thing.Undermining the dress code of an institution by any member whether a student or facility member is unethical.it is just an insulting behavior by our western fashion slavery. No one is bigger then institution and its by laws. For respected madam objection on dressing code does not means security threat but inappropriate attire.please let your all mind fellows know! Recommend

  • Qais
    Feb 7, 2018 - 11:22PM

    Hats off to the security guard. You can dress the way you want when you’re going to a party. But when going to an educational institute, dress yourself in a decent attire. A faculty member? Double the responsibility!!!Recommend

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