Uni Gender Segregation Should Not Be Tolerated

Allowing the violation of rights in universities across the country simply because of religion should never be allowed, says Nishith Chennakeshava


Last week, Universities UK, the group of university vice-chancellors, released guidelines for external speakers speaking on campuses. This included a case study on gender segregation and what the university might be required to do if a speaker asks the audience to be gender segregated.

Controversially, the report said that gender segregation can be allowed on the grounds of the religious beliefs of the speaker. But should we tolerate religion becoming more important than equality and freedom? I say no.

Gender segregation should not be tolerated

Gender segregation in Uni should not be tolerated

Universities UK state how women being made to sit in the back can be seen as a breach of the Equalities Act of 2010, so they suggest the segregation of men and women in a ‘left to right’ fashion. This doesn’t change the fact that gender segregation still occurs.

Although there have been numerous gender segregated events in the past and there will probably be more conducted in the future, the entire idea of segregation infringes upon students’ equality and freedom.

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Universities UK have suggested the segregation of men and women in a ‘left to right’ fashion

It shows how we have evolved to think that political correctness is so much more important than our rights, and how religious sentiments have become more important than the equal treatment of everyone.

It is important we understand that segregation is strife in almost all religions and is not something that is unique to one single religion. But, every single time segregation is called for, it is because of the sickening belief that women are somehow inferior or worse than men.

There is no demonstrable use for such segregation. In fact, Penn State University and University of Texas have both published articles on how it can be detrimental to the development of the social outlook of students who grow up in sex segregated schooling.

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There is no demonstrable use for gender segregation

In the context of universities, I ask the religious people who ask for the student audience to be segregated whether they can successfully demonstrate to me that gender segregation is somehow useful in helping the audience understand the debate or lecture in a better way? Of course they can’t. It is because their religion says so and it is no different to segregation based on colour or sexuality.

Universities UK tolerating inequality and a violation of rights due to the religious beliefs of a person is not at all convincing. Religious beliefs, like political beliefs, should be open to critique and mockery. Allowing the violation of rights in universities across the country simply because of religion should never be tolerated.