The president of a student union at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City swore on a string of rosary beads to immediately begin, and maintain a hunger strike until school authorities commit to improving regulations governing the supervision of female students in school dormitories.
Students have been protesting against a curfew on female students entering the dormitories between 12:00am and 6:30am. No such restrictions are placed on residents of the male dormitories. Protesters today argued that the regulations are not only sexist, but discriminate on the basis of social class, as many of the dormitory residents stay there because they cannot afford off-campus accommodation.
Students declared for every day their demands are not met, one more student will join the hunger strike.
Critics of the regulations pointed out that while regulations are aimed at maintaining the personal safety of female residents, safety can not be used to rationalize the infringement of human rights. Punishment, threats, and coercion, used to maintain the curfew results in people preferring to spend the night out, rather than returning after midnight, putting them in greater danger. Female dormitory residents often prefer to spend the night in the nearby 24 hour McDonald’s, rather than rousing the supervisor to let them in. Those who break the curfew suffer punishment, such as having to perform two hours of chores for every 30 minutes beyond curfew.
Residents of the male dormitory, simply swipe a card to access their dormitory at any time, while female students who want to enter their dorm after midnight have to wake a supervisor to open the gate.
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