Gender segregation guidelines u-turn following PM warning

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Guidance on the gender segregation of audiences in lectures and debates has been withdrawn, after Prime Minister David Cameron said it should not be allowed to happen.

Universities UK said a controversial case study setting out the guidance was being withdrawn while it reviews its stance, but insisted that the legal position remains "unclear" on whether the voluntary separation of men and women could be allowed at events such as lectures on Islam by visiting speakers.

However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that, while the law allows segregation by gender in premises being used for religious purposes, it was "not permissible" in an academic meeting or in a lecture open to the public.

'Pandering extremism'

UUK, which represents higher education institutions across the country, has requested help from the EHRC in establishing clarity about the legal position, after the guidance it published last monthsparked protests from students and outrage from some politicians.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "We should not pander to extremism. Speakers who insist on segregating audiences should not be indulged by educators.

Written By: News 4
continue to source article at channel4.com

37 COMMENTS

  1. I’d love to see some data on this, but my impression is that laws restricting or banning religious practices tend to be counterproductive. One thing that seems to work pretty well in the States is the tendency for kids of wackjob parents to mingle with the rest of society and become more moderate, or leave some of their faiths entirely. What girl, given a mix of experiences, decided to put on a burqua? Policies that feed a persecution mindset could really limit that integration.

    • In reply to #2 by Misfire:

      I’d love to see some data on this, but my impression is that laws restricting or banning religious practices tend to be counterproductive. One thing that seems to work pretty well in the States is the tendency for kids of wackjob parents to mingle with the rest of society and become more moderate, or leave some of their faiths entirely. What girl, given a mix of experiences, decided to put on a burqua? Policies that feed a persecution mindset could really limit that integration.

      It’s the same old argument as with burqa banning. What is the balance between helping people shake off nasty habits (no pun intended) and driving them into ghettos.

      You are right about the mixing. Step one in the UK would be no more faith schools.

      Michael

  2. Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “We should not pander to extremism. Speakers who insist on segregating audiences should not be indulged by educators.

    Exactly right. If gender segregation was allowed, what would be next?

  3. It looks like the politicians are starting to notice the problems caused by “political correctness” and pandering to extremists.
    I wonder what Warsi – David Cameron’s “Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities”, thinks of this?

    David Cameron joins university segregation row – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25361831

    The prime minister has strongly condemned university leaders whose guidance endorses the segregation of men and women at events on campus.

  4. Spineless lizards. I find it unbelievable gender segregation, or any kind of segregation, was even allowed in the first place, and not kicked up the arse and never seen again. They are not scoring those points with me.

    • In reply to #7 by obzen:

      Spineless lizards. I find it unbelievable gender segregation, or any kind of segregation, was even allowed in the first place, and not kicked up the arse and never seen again. They are not scoring those points with me.

      ” I find it unbelievable gender segregation, or any kind of segregation, was even allowed in the first place, and not kicked up the arse and never seen again. “

      My first thought and almost my first answer.

      I guess better late than never.

  5. but insisted that the legal position remains “unclear” on whether the voluntary separation of men and women could be allowed at events such as lectures on Islam by visiting speakers.

    Can anyone explain what voluntary segregation is in a public lecture and how it works? Do you ask everybody when they get there if they would like to sit segregated ? That would be absurd. The only feasible model I can imagine is something like having three sections one for each gender and a mixed one. Then you use security staff to make sure that everybody sits in either the mixed section or the section for their gender. But once the security staff come into it it doesn’t sound so “voluntary”.

    That would be a bit like what caused all the fuss at the Krauss lecture except the mixed section was really a couples section.

    Michael

    • In reply to #9 by mmurray:

      … The only feasible model I can imagine is something like having three sections one for each gender and a mixed one. Then you use security staff to make sure that everybody sits in either the mixed section or the section for their gender. But once the security staff come into it it doesn’t sound so “voluntary”.

      Or just give the security staff the day off, and let people set where they want, Why is that so hard.

      • In reply to #14 by old-toy-boy:

        Or just give the security staff the day off, and let people set where they want, Why is that so hard.

        Sure we all want people to sit where they want. But that isn’t my question. My question is what does “voluntary” mean in the UUK statement”

        Universities UK said a controversial case study setting out the guidance was being withdrawn while it reviews its stance, but insisted that the legal position remains “unclear” on whether the voluntary separation of men and women could be allowed at events such as lectures on Islam by visiting speakers.

        Michael

    • In reply to #9 by mmurray:

      but insisted that the legal position remains “unclear” on whether the voluntary separation of men and women could be allowed at events such as lectures on Islam by visiting speakers.

      Can anyone explain what voluntary segregation is in a public lecture and how it works? Do you ask everybody when th…

      Basically a paper thin attempt at arse covering when found to be acting illegally. They didn’t consult the EHRC before drawing up the guidelines which is a basic legal duty, (which they actually teach to trainee teachers and lecturers…) The cases which occurred before the guidelines were thrown together suggest that the 1st line was people outside the theatre telling females not to attend, but to “Leave your studies and go back to your homes to be mothers”. 2nd line was to have separate entrances for males & females, 3rd line was that any females attending were seated at the rear of the theatres. Questions by females were ignored.
      Frankly any part of that should have got them ejected from the campus.

    • In reply to #9 by mmurray:

      but insisted that the legal position remains “unclear” on whether the voluntary separation of men and women could be allowed at events such as lectures on Islam by visiting speakers.

      Can anyone explain what voluntary segregation is in a public lecture and how it works? Do you ask everybody when th…

      I’m guessing that you will have to buy or book your seats, and depending on whether you are male or female, will limit
      what seats are available for purchase or booking. So for a male, the options will be male only or mixed.
      A male will not be able to seat next to a female who chose female only and vice versa.

      i.e. There will be seats made available solely for those who only wish to sit next someone of their own sex.

  6. Sadly this story is proof of what happens when you pander to minorities, whilst not wishing to offend. I also get the feeling that it proves that if you wave enough cash in front of them, universities will ignore their scruples and do any zealots bidding.

  7. When women have to fight for every human right through out History I am deeply offended that this is happening now in 2013. We pander to the religious nutters at every whim. Women who wear headscafts or veils are not helping their sex face the modern world. If modesty is the reason then let all religious (men and women) cover up but don’t segregate the sexes. This is not right and should never be allowed in the first place. We have a very weak Government …………………………

  8. Two points, – Heads should roll at the Universities-UK for whoever thought segregation is morally acceptable.
    Second, Islam have yet to embrace the concept of equality, So reject their hypocritical charge of Islamophobia.

  9. Case Study 2 which is of interest here has been removed by UUK. But you can find it in an older version of the document here.

    It reads to me like they are not talking about voluntary segregation but just side by side segregation that is presumably enforced. They do admit it might be better if you could have three columns of seats, women, men and mixed. The mind boggles. So presumably UUK would be happy with three columns mixed on race: white, black and mixed. It’s amazing really that anyone could even contemplate this.

    Michael

  10. I like to test things like accommodation over segregated seating by imagining more powerful scenarios. Suppose, for example, I were to invent a religion that prescribed the death penalty for certain misdemeanours, that insisted on ritually snipping off bits of newborn babies, and that obliged female adherents to sit in a separate part of the church. If this religion acquired a fair number of adherents, would the UK allow me to carry out these actions? After all, I deeply and sincerely believe in the religion I’ve created, and that surely requires respect for my religion.

    Sorry: what’s that I hear you saying???

  11. At last!

    It’s been cottoned on to that Islamists are trying it on, just like all religious groups do if given half a chance.

    Now just wait for the howls, bleats and whingeing to start.

    I think I’ve realised how religions wangled tax exemptions in the past; it was by intimidation and emotional blackmail; the former by threating to kill anyone who disagreed with their doctrines and demands, and the latter by telling their flocks that they would go to hell if they dared to disobey the churche’s dictums.

    I think the political wing of Islam thought it could still get away with that sort of thing. Well they’d better wake up to the fact that those days are over, and if good sense prevails – and I never thought I’d use that expression in connection with current tenth rate no hopers in charge – then the fact wiil get driven home.

    Albeit that organised religions can never be trusted, and will doubtless keep on trying to pull fast ones.

    Vigilance is needed, in the same way that the spread of malign viruses has to always be watched out for.

  12. Gosh. Kicking up a fuss in a just cause sometimes achieves results. It’s been so long since that happened that I’d almost given up on the notion. But I wanted to slap the reporter interviewing the President of the LSE Student Union in that clip. After the dweeeb declared it “Islamophobic”, why didn’t the reporter challenge him on whether it’s ok to segregate by gender?

  13. Unfortunately, if being against segregation is islamophobic, if being against sharia law is islamophobic, if being against fatwas is islamophobic, if being against creationism is islamophobic and if, all in all, being a secularist is islamophobic, them I’m afraid one should quickly become islamophobic if one isn’t already.

  14. A step in the right direction but still a long way to go. I hope this will show others that we should not pander to any extremism. However, the idiot word islamophobia soon cropped up again, why can these people not understand that a phobia is an irrational rear – I do not think it irrational to fear a person who would have me killed for apostasy or who would mutilate his daughters in the name of a god.

    Finally, Alan4discussion, congratulations in getting the word think in the same sentence as Warsi – that takes some doing:)

  15. The statement ‘divide and conquer’ comes to mind That’s what these people seek to do….
    … British grandmothers did not fight with their lives for equal rights for women in this country to have recent migrants come to our Island and try to tear down over 100 years of forward progress for women….I’m very happy the Gov had the balls to stand up and tell the Islamic people that this is not acceptable in a non religious establishment…..It’s only muslims that advocate separation….women’s rights before religious rights any day……religion should have no rights just legal tolerances to a point……

    • In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

      The statement ‘divide and conquer’ comes to mind That’s what these people seek to do…. … British grandmothers did not fight with their lives for equal rights for women in this country to have recent migrants come to our Island and try to tear down over 100 years of forward progress for women….I’m very happy the Gov had the balls to stand up and tell the Islamic people that this is not acceptable in a non religious establishment…..It’s only muslims that advocate separation….women’s rights before religious rights any day……religion should have no rights just legal tolerances to a point……

      I attended a single-sex, non-Muslim boarding school, Light Wave. It isn’t only Muslims who advocate gender separation.

      I’m a migrant to your island too. I hope my presence there isn’t too much of an imposition.

      If you’re going to cite your nation’s history when lamenting immigration and the effect it has in the present day, you might want to be a little less selective and think about including some of the stuff Britain has been responsible for which didn’t produce such favorable results. I’ve no wish to send you on a guilt trip, but worldwide Islam exists as it does today as a direct result of British and other Western governments’ centuries-long intervention in non-Muslim affairs. Osama bin Laden ring a bell? Ruhollah Khomeini? I can go back further if that’s a help.

      Think about that before you beat your chest and complain about ‘these people’ and their attempts to reverse your dear old granny and her friends’ hard-fought struggle for parity.

      P.S. I just increased the number of likes your comment is going to get.

      • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

        …P.S. I just increased the number of likes your comment is going to get.

        Ha ha. And from the people I expected, too. That Pavlov cat had nothin’ on me. Ha ha

      • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

        The statement ‘divide and conquer’ comes to mind That’s what these people seek to do…. … British grandmothers did not fight with their lives for equal rights for women in this country to have recent migrants come to our Island and try to tear down over 100 years o…

        Universities are Not segregated in My country and nor should they ever be since we’ve moved forward in time…. some boarding schools may be segregated….if they are religious or pretentious – it doesn’t make it right to try and segregate universities.. I can site as many historical facts as I need to as I have the right to as I come from this land and my ancestors belong to this land…. Whatdya want Katy free reign ???

      • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

        I don’t need your kinda help to increase the likes my comment gets….You choose segregation I don’t……bitter counter comments is all I ever see from you….Your presence on my Island….erm ….there are worse people here…
        >

        The statement ‘divide and conquer’ comes to mind That’s what these people seek to do…. … British grandmothers did not fight with their lives for equal rights for women in this country to have recent migrants come to our Island and try to tear down over 100 years o…

      • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

        It isn’t only Muslims who advocate gender separation.

        Your example, Katy, is no help to you. You need to find a current example where there is segregation in the same room whilst having a common experience, not segregation to have quite separate experiences.

        • In reply to #32 by phil rimmer:

          In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

          It isn’t only Muslims who advocate gender separation.

          Your example, Katy, is no help to you. You need to find a current example where there is segregation in the same room whilst having a common experience, not segregation to have quite separate experiences.

          Learning is a common experience. Across the lake from the educational institution I attended, St Bitch’s School for Wayward Daughters of Wealthy Idiots, was St Bastard’s Academy, an all-male boarding school. We were separate from them – most of the time – but studied the same curriculum. I don’t see how being divided by a few feet is all that different to being divided by a body of water.

          • In reply to #33 by Katy Cordeth:

            Learning is a common experience.

            The arguments made for the retention of gender segregated schooling, though, has been that the mode of teaching can be, and intentionally or otherwise is, tailored to suit each gender. On this basis only is it considered a decent way to proceed now (except, of course, for the theocrats who wish with reasonable expectations, for gender role imprinting as well.)

            Alas the evidence is not there to support the educational wish.

      • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #24 by Light Wave:

        The statement ‘divide and conquer’ comes to mind That’s what these people seek to do…. … British grandmothers did not fight with their lives for equal rights for women in this country to have recent migrants come to our Island and try to tear down over 100 years o…

        I did answer you before but moderators must have removed it…..You make a lot of excuses for Islamic violence that I don’t accept in your rather snarly response…the little miss rich bitches must be making you uptight – Did you address the article…No ?
        I feel no guilt about the actions of my countries past governments its beyond my control….You want me to think about that No – you think about it…I care about equality….and my non rich daughters future….who’s side are you on ? its very hard to tell ? do you just vent pent up venom from being gender segregated all term…..nasty comment about getting me more likes…you wish…

  16. Concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system.

    Why the hell not? religious beliefs have proven themselves to be some of the most idiotic and destructive to have ever been practiced by
    humans! It should not be forced to be accepted beyond the personal space of the believer.

  17. Moderators’message

    On a site for rational, thoughtful discussion it really doesn’t help when users start snarling at each other.

    Can everyone keep their comments civil and avoid pointing out the personal failings of those who are foolish enough not to agree with them please?

    Thank you.

    The mods

  18. Voluntary segregation? who are they kidding?

    It is wrong if it is done for the observance of a religion because that is not choice that’s control. I’d like to see them insisting all the blacks sit at the back of the room because their book says so.

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