Official guidelines which endorse sex segregation at British universities have been declared potentially unlawful by Britain’s equality watchdog, The Telegraph can disclose.
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.
Its controversial guidance to universities across Britain said segregation could be acceptable as long as men and women were seated side by side rather than with women at the back.
It also said that any event where some segregation took place for religious reasons should also provide a separate, non-segregated area.
Mr Hammond said: “Equality law permits gender segregation in premises that are permanently or temporarily being used for the purposes of an organised religion where its doctrines require it.
“However, in an academic meeting or in a lecture open to the public it is not, in the commission’s view, permissible to segregate by gender.”
They really don’t seem to get this freedom and liberty thing, do they?
Which is that it’s none of your (or my to that matter) damn fucking business how people voluntarily decide to organise themselves in public.
It is the business of government not to enforce such organisation or segregation. And also not to either insist upon or allow it in things that they are providing such as classes or lectures. But a public meeting is just that, a public meeting. And those going to it are entirely at liberty to accept or not whatever constraints the organisers of the meeting wish to put upon them.
We do, for example, insist upon the freedom of speech in this country. But no one at all would insist that the organisers of a meeting cannot ask a persistent heckler to leave. Nor “aid him” in leaving if he refuses.
So there’s some nutter who insists that he will only give his speech if the women are separate from the men. It’s entirely up to those who wish or do not wish to attend under said circimstances to make their own decision about that.
And not to a bureaucracy.