Algerian woman banned from university exam over length of skirt supported by people sharing selfies of their legs online

A guard said the woman's skirt was inappropriate

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The Independent Online

Women and men in Algeria are sharing photos of their bare legs online, in a show of solidarity with a university student who was banned for an exam for wearing "short skirt".

A security guard stopped the unnamed woman from entering the Faculty of Law at the University of Algiers, because he thought her skirt, which happened to be cut on the knee, was inappropriate, the TSA Algerie news website reported.

Mohamed Tahar Hadjar, the dean of Faculty of Law, told the website that the guard made the right decision because “wearing a short skirt is not authorised inside the university."

He added that the case was "trivial" and that "it’s their [the guard's] job to uphold the rules of the faculty. It requires a decent outfit, for both girls and boys”.

However, many disagreed with Mr Hadjar’s view, including student Sophia Jama who set up a protest Facebook page and invited users to share photos of their bare legs in support of the shunned law student. 

Since the ‘My dignity is not in the length of my skirt’ Facebook page went online last week, almost 100 people have sent photos to Ms Jama, who has filed them in an ‘angry legs’ album on the page.

En pause, dans une école supérieure publique algérienne où l'on n'impose pas le col roulé à 35° (merci Allegra Arts)

Posted by Ma dignité n'est pas dans la longueur de ma jupe. on Friday, 15 May 2015

les jambes de @hanifa rabhi qui s'en va entammer sa journée sereinement

Posted by Ma dignité n'est pas dans la longueur de ma jupe. on Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ms Jama told France24 according to a translation by BuzzFeed: "A woman’s body has become a battle field in Algeria. If we keep silent, we women will lose a lot from our gains, regarding our freedom in public places."

Suggesting that the incident is part of a wider problem with how institutions try to control women, she referred to a recent incident in which a French Muslim student was banned from school for wearing a skirt deemed too long.

She added that she hopes the page will be regarded as a “watch on what is happening to women every day”.

The incident came after a Canadian school was criticised for giving student detention for wearing a backless dress, which it deemed "inappropriate" and a "sexual distraction".