A Belgian university has been accused of “outrageous” sexism after it asked female students to wear low-cut dresses to graduation.
The Free University of Brussels (ULB) was forced to apologise after an email was sent to medical students outlining the dress code for the ceremony.
While male graduates were told they could wear a suit, women were advised: “From an aesthetic point of view it is better for young women to wear a dress or skirt, and a nice revealing neckline.
“Of course, ladies, this advice is not obligatory,” the email added.
The scandal came to light after the message was shared on the ULB Confessions page, a Facebook group for students at the university.
More than 600 people have shared the post since it was published, calling the email “shocking” and “scandalous”.
One student responded: “No one has the right to tell you how you should feel in your skin.
“No one has the right to tell you how you dress. Nobody has the right to tell you how to play your role as a woman,” they continued.
“No one has the right to take away this freedom that has been (and is still being) obtained with such difficulty.”
In a post on Facebook, the university offered its “sincerest apologies” over the email.
Marco Schetgen, dean of the medicine facility at ULB, told Belgian news outlet RTL that the email was not a “hoax”, as some had suggested.
It was probably sent by woman as the secretariat does not include any men, he added.