From: The Stream

Gender bias or ‘biased’ reporting?

Indian Muslim university students accuse media of misreporting ban on female students.

Students at India’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) are countering national headlines that women are banned from their main library.

The reports stem from controversial remarks made by Vice Chancellor (VC) Zameer Uddin Shah. The VC rejected a demand from students of the university’s Women’s College to use the central Maulana Azad Library, reportedly saying there would be “four times more boys” in the library if girls were allowed in. He added: “The issue is not of discipline, but of space. Our library is packed”. 

Shah’s remarks sparked accusations of sexism from the media and government officials. He later claimed he was misquoted, and women were in fact allowed access to the library. Shah said only undergraduate students in the Women’s College could not be accommodated due to “paucity of space”. Students, including women, were also quick to respond to the accusations of gender discrimination, criticising the media for “biased” reporting.  

At first, many online, including prominent television channels, politicians and journalists criticised the university for these alleged restrictions.