Posts Tagged ‘ Gender segregation ’

Sisters contact

Apr 17th, 2014 11:02 am | By

Damion Thompson reports at the Telegraph (yes, I know – the Telegraph) that the University of East London said No to gender segregation at an event on its campus.

blogged yesterday about this “segregated” Muslim event organised by the Islamic Society of the University of East London, due to happen tonight at UEL’s main lecture theatre on its Docklands campus.

Much to my surprise, UEL immediately banned it from their campus. See the reaction below by Peter Tatchell, who brought this to public attention:

Check out the poster for the event.

SEGREGATED EVENT, spelled out right there on the poster, and then segregated numbers for the “brothers” and “sisters” to contact.


The New Ham Recorder has moreRead the rest

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Only male lecturers are assigned

Apr 15th, 2014 2:47 pm | By

More gender segregation at universities and colleges, this time in Israel. (Sorry about that site – it sticks a share button on the margin where it blocks some of the text and you can’t move either the button or the text. Top notch design, there, Al-Monitor.)

Israel is trying to get more ultra-Orthodox to do some work besides poring over the Talmud, but there are complications.

The Council for Higher Education (CHE) reported to the Knesset in February 2014 that many ultra-Orthodox men would like to study in the coming academic year. However, it seems that most will not do so, because they refuse to study in institutions where men and women sit together in classrooms.

Girl cooties. Can’t … Read the rest

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Firm to the principles

Mar 26th, 2014 11:04 am | By

Chris Moos updates us on the situation with gender segregation at UK universities. It hasn’t noticeably improved.

Worryingly even some elected student officials go so far as to openly advocate segregation. Joe Killen, welfare and diversity officer at Goldsmiths Students’ Union opposes bans on segregation based on an alleged “importance of segregation in political movements.” The Women’s Officer of King’s College London Students’ Union, Shaheen Sattar, who is also a National Union of Students delegate, has gone as far as demanding that “gender segregation should be respected, if not tolerated, in institutions of higher education“, as it was “firm to the principles of Islam”.

What else should be respected because it’s “firm to the principles … Read the rest

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Nostalgia for Little Rock in 1956

Feb 14th, 2014 10:58 am | By

Ignorant student society proudly announces its rejection of what it ignorantly calls “PM’s call to ban gender segregation” – ignorantly because it’s far from exclusive to the PM and in fact he caught up days after many other people and organizations had issued the same call.

Ignorant student society proudly announces its view that students should decide how societies are run, including segregating any way they want to.

The society is SUARTS, the Students’ Union of University of the Arts London. (For an arts students union it has a remarkably crappy website that actually blocks the text of the article you’re trying to read, with no way to unblock it. You can read only a few lines without scrolling.)


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Homer Plessy in Edinburgh

Feb 6th, 2014 12:51 pm | By

The Student Association of Edinburgh University (EUSA) had a meeting a few hours ago. There were many items on the agenda. One item was a motion by the Humanist Society (a subgroup of the Student Association) to

Commit to disallowing imposed or directed segregation, based on any characteristic, in EUSA buildings or at EUSA events.

The Treasurer of the Humanist Society, Jonathan Ainslie, reports that the motion was heavily voted down. Yes that’s right: down.

Quoting Jonathan:

The Humanist Society submitted a motion to Student Council – EUSA’s policy-setting body – for a ban on imposed or directed segregation on union premises, or at union events.

Voluntary segregation was explicitly permitted. The motion was entitled “Separate but Equal.”

That motion

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Enormous, disproportionate impact on black minority women

Jan 15th, 2014 10:20 am | By

The Independent reported on the LSESUASH et al. letter to the UN special rapporteur yesterday. That’s good: major media coverage, and non-right-wing major media coverage at that.

Mr Moos, who was recently involved in a freedom of expression battle with LSE, believes that any type of segregation should be fought and that the UN pressure would help public discussion.

He said: “We hope that the UN will air their concern about the on-going issue of gender discrimination in public institutions in the UK, and advise the UK government on how to ensure full compliance with the existing human rights legislation that outlaws discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics like gender.”

As opposed to treating gender as a special … Read the rest

Cambridge student submits legal note to Universities UK against gender segregation

Jan 7th, 2014 12:03 pm | By

Joint statement of Southall Black Sisters, One Law for All, Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation and LSE SU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society

We are pleased to learn of the legal note submitted to Universities UK (UUK) yesterday in the name of Radha Bhatt, a student of Cambridge University, against their Guidance condoning gender segregation.

We share Radha’s apprehensions that gender segregation reinforces negative views specifically about women, undermines their right to participate in public life on equal terms with men and disproportionately impedes women from ethnic and religious minorities, whose rights to education and gender equality are already imperilled.

 Signs assigning different entrances for male and female students at Leicester University; (c) The Guardian

Radha’s legal submission makes … Read the rest

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Fons et origo

Dec 21st, 2013 9:45 am | By

I think I know where Pryiamvada Gopal got her distorted and ignorant idea of the people behind the protest against gender segregation. I think she read a repellent article at “Loonwatch” on the website “Islamophobia Today” titled UK: Islamophobes Manufacture “Gender Segregation” Controversy. It’s wrong in just the way her article is wrong, and it does it a few days earlier.

The author is billed as “Ilisha.”

An Islamic society wants to host a university event where–gasp!–men and women are seated separately. Suddenly this minor event is major news in the UK.

Yes, “gasp,” Ilisha. It’s not just routine and normal for university events to seat women and men separately.

People who apparently never planned to attend the event

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Annoying aspects

Dec 18th, 2013 1:40 pm | By

Tehmina Kazi, director at British Muslims for Secular Democracy, has an excellent list of

Aspects of the gender segregation debate that have annoyed and perplexed me.

That’s on Facebook; there’s also a version re-posted on a blog (in case you can’t see the Facebook one).

3. Those who are unable to see why it is problematic for a public body like Universities UK to prioritise the whims of external speakers over university public sector equality duties, and THE SPIRIT of equalities law.

That; very exactly that.

9. Confusion over the distinction between discretionary segregation (where people randomly sit where they wish, perhaps in same-sex clusters) and organised segregation (which is either enforced by the event organisers, or requested by

Read the rest

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Ah there he is now

Dec 17th, 2013 6:08 pm | By

So, to complete the picture, who should chime in at the Spectator but…Douglas Murray himself. And what do you know, he gets it all wrong too. But of course he gets it wrong from the opposite direction.

He starts by quoting someone unknown who announced that ‘The left doesn’t really matter’. Hooray, he says.

If there is anyone who thinks that a shame they should just look at the contortions ‘the left’ is going through now over the issue of gender segregation. This is the process – which has been occurring on certain university campuses for some time and which a number of people, including colleagues of mine, have long highlighted – that consists of separating audiences according

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Concerns about the motivation

Dec 17th, 2013 3:48 pm | By

Daniel Trilling at the Rationalist Association blog offered their position on gender segregation today. He started with Gopal’s article.

The piece raised concerns about the motivation of the pressure group Student Rights, which has been campaigning on the topic, and the way in which the story had been picked up by the media, but argued that such concerns should not prevent people from criticising the policy.

No, not exactly. Gopal was exceedingly unclear that her concerns were only with Student Rights and the way the media picked up the story. Exceedingly unclear. It was not at all clear that she wasn’t talking about the people who organized and publicized the December 10 protest that triggered the media coverage. If that’s … Read the rest

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Why the one and not the other?

Dec 17th, 2013 11:56 am | By

Catching up with Catherine Bennett on gender segregation in the Observer on Saturday.

Naturally, much speculation, not all of it fanciful, has addressed the further privileges that intolerant faiths might soon, with the support of UUK’s useful idiots, be extracting from academe. Some speakers, for example, feel equally incapacitated by the prospect of women’s faces in a university audience, or “congregation” as a Muslim chaplain, Saleem Chagtai, referred to it last week on the Today programme. Can they, too – lawfully, and with the continued backing of Fenella Morris QC – demand that women cover up, be screened from sight, or evicted altogether, supposing, of course, this is consonant with genuinely held religious beliefs?

The answer is probably no, … Read the rest

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Unified Community Response

Dec 17th, 2013 9:48 am | By

Ah here comes the “unified community response” – at least, “unified” “community” according to the people doing the responding.

It’s an interesting ploy, isn’t it, just announcing that one’s own view is, by fiat, the unified community view. Disappear the opposition merely by say-so.

It calls that “a panel of Muslim women from across the community” – which community? The community of reactionary fundamentalist theocratic Islamists? Because it’s certainly not the community of all Muslim women. If “from across the community” is meant to convey “with a range of political views” – as surely it is – then it’s very dishonest.

But at the same time that it’s meant to convey that, I think it’s also meant to convey communitarian … Read the rest

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Until the West comes along to teach us progress

Dec 16th, 2013 2:41 pm | By

I said I would continue my disagreement with what Priyamvada Gopal wrote, so here I am continuing.

The fact is that challenging traditions and questioning authority are practices common to all societies; changing in response to circumstances is a human capacity and not one limited to a particular culture.

Again – no kidding, and no one who is criticizing gender segregation said otherwise. It’s the other way around: Universities UK are treating authority (in the person of the external speaker who demands segregated seating) as if it is not to be challenged. It is the protesters who are challenging that authority, and the authority of UUK, from the standpoint of universal rights, which is to say, rights common Read the rest

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“We would not condone that at all”

Dec 16th, 2013 11:02 am | By

The LSE Student Union Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society is not impressed by the way the SU has reacted to the gender segregation controversy. It explains on the SU website.

We are disappointed by the LSESU General Secretary Jay Stoll’s statement that the threat of forced gender segregation is “practically non-existent” (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) and his accusation that anti-segregation campaigners are ‘Islamophobic’. We also have good reason to distrust LSESU Community and Welfare Officer Anneessa Mahmood’s defence that only “voluntarily segregated” meetings are taking place on the LSE campus, and that there have been “no meetings at LSE where segregation has been enforced upon people“, even if she states that “as an organisation

Read the rest

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Advice from robots

Dec 15th, 2013 4:02 pm | By

Since Maryam saved the original UUK guidance, I’m reading pages 27 and 28 again for the nostalgia. It read as if it had been written by a robot.

The segregation request is not yet in the public domain but the students’ union has an active feminist society which is likely to protest against the segregation request. Other societies are likely to express similar concerns. The event is also due to take place a few days after a number of campus-based activities to coincide with International Women’s Day.

See what I mean? A robot or an extra-terrestrial. There – might – be – some – groups – who – would – not – like – the – idea – of – … Read the rest

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Who sits where

Dec 15th, 2013 12:36 pm | By

Kate Maltby on the gender segregation dispute.

I spent much of Tuesday afternoon shivering outside the offices of Universities UK. I was there to protest their publication of guidelines which suggest segregated seating of men and women may be legally required where guest speakers demand it. It’s reassuring to learn that protest sometimes works: by Friday, the beleaguered body had shifted their position twice within 24 hours, thanks in part to criticism by Michael Gove and David Cameron.

It is reassuring, isn’t it. I’m still surprised at the speed with which it happened.

But for all their fair words, I’m told the Cabinet have no plans for legislation to clarify the law. And I hear some members of

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Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder

Dec 14th, 2013 11:12 am | By

There was a new comment yesterday on Nicola Dandridge’s November 25 blog post about the gender segregation bit of Universities UK’s guidance on external speakers. The new comment is by Jane Kelly, who went to the protest.

Seats For Women!
On Tuesday 10th December  I joined  ex Muslims from One Law For All, and various secular groups to attend a demonstration outside 20 Tavistock Square,against sexual segregation at lectures and debates. My mother laughed heartily at the thought of me going on a demo, something I have not done for thirty years, not since I was supporting Polish Solidarnoc. I promised her I would resist knocking off any police helmets.

The demo was for a cause which should get the

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Maltby and Barkatulla on PM

Dec 13th, 2013 12:15 pm | By

Radio 4′s afternoon news program PM had the UUK-gender segregation story as its lead item, and then its first in-depth story. The talking heads were Kate Maltby, a Christian and a PhD student at UCL, and Fatima Barkatulla of Seeds of Change which (PM failed to say) is part of iERA.

Barkatulla pushed the UUK line that it’s voluntary, with extra added “live and let live” and “religious Muslim women just want a space.”

But that’s all nonsense. You can’t have separate space in a public auditorium or class room or lecture hall without keeping the “wrong” people out, so it can’t be voluntary. The minute some “wrong” person tries to sit in that space, some sort of action … Read the rest

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Those who wish to sit in separate areas

Dec 13th, 2013 11:14 am | By

The Telegraph has the skinny on what the Equality and Human Rights Commission thinks of the gender segregation issue.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced it will help re-write guidance, published by Universities UK (UUK) last month, which said Muslim societies and other groups were entitled to practice gender segregation at public meetings on campus.

Mark Hammond, the EHRC’s chief executive, said gender segregation was “not   permissible” under equalities laws, adding that UUK’s guidance required clarification.

By agreeing to go back to the drawing board with the EHRC’s help, the vice-chancellors’ organisation appeared to have headed off the prospect of a legal challenge from the official watchdog.

There: the Telegraph described UUK properly: it’s “the vice-chancellors’ organization”; it’s … Read the rest

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