Hamas segregates Gaza schools by gender

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New law means boys and girls in Gaza will attend separate schools, as critics accuse Hamas of imposing hard-line agenda.


Beginning this September, girls and boys above the age of nine in the Gaza Strip will be segregated in school under a new law passed by Hamas, which governs the coastal Palestinian enclave.

The law passed earlier this month will also exclude male staffers from working in girls' schools in Gaza. The legislation has been criticised by human rights groups and women's organisations as an attempt to impose Hamas' political agenda on Gazan society.

The new measures are the latest in a series of controversial steps taken recently by the Islamist movement, which has ruled here since 2007.

Walid Mezher, a legal adviser to Gaza's Ministry of Education, told Al Jazeera the Palestinian education system was "organised before by the Egyptian 1933 education law, which is very outdated. It's time for Palestinians to have their own modern law that matches their needs".

Regarding the most controversial aspect of the law, which seeks to ban gender mixing in schools, Mezher said this was the case already. The difference now is that it would be law and not merely social tradition.

"Even for the schools which are run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] and not our government, the two genders are separated based on the Palestinian traditions," he said
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Written By: Abeer Ayyoub
continue to source article at aljazeera.com

19 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

      I’m not against gender-segregated classrooms, as studies seem to demonstrate that children do better in them for a few reasons, but this is for the wrong reason to segregate them.

      I am interested in the data of the studies, also who conducted the studies and how.

      • In reply to #9 by ganggan:

        I am interested in the data of the studies, also who conducted the studies and how.

        The thing I read, if I remember correctly, argued in favor of segregation in classes like math and science. I don’t think it benefits anyone to go to an all girls school or all boys school, though. I’ll have a look and see if I can find it again. I read it a couple of years ago.

    • In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

      I’m not against gender-segregated classrooms, as studies seem to demonstrate that children do better in them for a few reasons, but this is for the wrong reason to segregate them.

      yes, i’ve heard something similar about segregated schools and classrooms but have always wondered why this should be so. i wonder whether this is really just treating a symptom and not a cause – an underlying misogyny.

      • In reply to #15 by Net:

        In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

        I’m not against gender-segregated classrooms, as studies seem to demonstrate that children do better in them for a few reasons, but this is for the wrong reason to segregate them.

        yes, i’ve heard something similar about segregated schools and classrooms but have always wondered why this should be so. i wonder whether this is really just treating a symptom and not a cause – an underlying misogyny.

        In most Western countries the segregation Is simply based on removing distractions.

        Amongst other things many private and high performing schools do quite a lot to reduce social and educational distraction. Introduce a Uniform and people don’t spend hours getting ready for school and playing fashion games, which are also costly. Remove the opportunity for mating games by segregating classes and people are not showing off, disrupting and joking around in class. Quite a few private schools in my country have segregated but shared campuses to also reduce the inter gender interplay during social periods.

        The first two I can definitely see reasons for (from my own experience), the third may actually be valid but I wouldn’t like to see total separation.

        I honestly see no misogyny in most OZ schools as there is no reduction in expenditure or effort with the girls and they actually outperform by a significant margin in standardised testing.

    • In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

      I’m not against gender-segregated classrooms, as studies seem to demonstrate that children do better in them for a few reasons, but this is for the wrong reason to segregate them.

      There are still a lot of single sex state schools in the UK, especially amongst the ones that used to be or still are grammar schools. In general the kids do do better – largely due to lack of distractions in class I’d guess. There is nobody to flirt with, or play the clown for. Girls certainly are supposed to do better in maths and science in single sex schools.

      But it doesn’t really matter in the UK because it is the only place kids will be segregated and it isn’t done with any real agenda. Whereas I suspect this will result in the girls getting an inferior education and has been done to indoctrinate them to a certain degree..

    • In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

      I’m not against gender-segregated classrooms, as studies seem to demonstrate that children do better in them for a few reasons, but this is for the wrong reason to segregate them.

      Some of the private education hot-houses, are quite good at producing academically high performing swatty social misfits – for substantial fees!

  1. Having been through co-ed CofE schools from primary to secondary we were only segregated at secondary level during break times (not in class) probably due to the idea that the rise of hormones would cause all sorts of mayhem.

    Aren’t they basically doing the same thing here? Isn’t this just another abrahamic cult bristling with indignation about the ‘evil’ and ‘amorality’ of romantic dalliance? Aren’t they just afraid that their daughters will be unsaleable if they draw the attention of a boy? The extremis of honour killing apart does that attitude differ much from the parents who arranged the shotgun weddings or put their preganat daughters in homes for unmarried mothers or even into mental asylums and magdalene laundries as moral delinquents? We only have to take a few steps backwards. We have come a long way in the west though not by so many years. I’m not sure but I think that our attitudes have changed in part due to factors like safe and readily available female contraception though I’d hope it was also due to a change of consciousness.

    I’m not sure that segregation actually does improve learning. There is a statisitcal correlation that it improves exam results in tutor led environments but that is not the same thing as learning and the effect may be due to lots of other variables.

  2. This is not just to achieve better exam results, we all know that much. If it is to pander to any tradition, it is the Islamic tradition, pure and simple. Education doesn’t consist merely of passing exams with good grades; the greater part, in my opinion, is the interaction with others, even, if not especially, the opposite sex. Separation by gender is wrong in any society but in Islamic one it is laying the ground for deepening future inequalities, practice of misogyny, honour killings, the lot.

    Can the government / the society not see the potential negative outcome in the future for the whole of their society, or don’t they care as long as Allah is praised?! It’s like they don’t want a better future for their children so long as the barbaric traditions are upheld in His name. As long as these societies operate on such basis, there is really no hope for them, and I pity their children.

    • In reply to #4 by HenMie:

      Separation by gender is wrong in any society but in Islamic one it is laying the ground for deepening future inequalities, practice of misogyny, honour killings, the lot.

      It was ever thus in western societies until we improved our thinking. We look at islam through the vision of our renewed understanding about the role of women in society but it wasn’t so long ago we were mistreating our womenfolk. There were differences of degree but we were still wrong.

      All the more reason why we have to be watchful. One of the most shameful things we are permitting in modern Britain are the sharia courts which uphold such antiquated and antihuman values. It should be stopped and as soon as possible. They directly contravene human rights and the paltry excuse that its part and parcel of multiculturism so we’ll let them do it doesn’t wash.

  3. That’s stage one. Stage two will be changing the curriculum in the girl’s schools, so that they can’t compete with men for jobs. Stage three will be starving them of funds because women are worth half a man, and stage four will be closing them because they don’t work.

  4. At least they don’t seem to suffer from the hypocrisy of trying to sell “Separate but equal”.

    Before we get too huffy, consider that up until fairly recently British schools were segregated by sex. I attended one. There has been debate in Canada about bringing back the idea based on notions that boys find girls distracting and some mumbo jumbo about males and females needing different teaching styles (as if only males don’t like to be bored to death).

  5. Step ONE in Islamic mind control; next is a different syllabus teaching them how inferior (to males) they are, followed by Koranic mind control to be subjugated by their future husbands. Onward and downward to the full Monty of burkah (pictured), arranged marriage and later, possible honor killing. Oh, joy!

  6. I do not think schools or classes should be segregated, even if it does yield better academic results. School is not just about learning math and English and all that, it should also teach students to deal with life after school. Kids need to learn how to deal with, and work together with, the opposite gender, because that is probably what they will be doing once they finish school. There might be something about mental health and segregation as well, I’m not sure; an all-girls or all-boys class or school doesn’t seem all that healthy. If anyone can link to any articles on the topic, that would be awesome.

  7. With chemistry classes segregated, the boys can be instructed on the best acid to use to attack women who dare speak up, and the girls can be instructed in what alkalis they can carry and use to protect themselves from an acid attack.

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