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Canada: The Canadian Council of Muslim Women condems York University authorities’ abandonment of gender equality

Sunday 12 January 2014, by siawi3

Source: Canadian Council of Muslim Women, January 11, 2014

To:

Dean Martin Singer
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

Copy: Professor J. Paul Grayson,
Department of Sociology.

Dear Dean Singer,

As an organization of believing Canadian Muslim women who work hard to advocate for the equality, equity and empowerment of women, we are disturbed by the media reports regarding your agreement to a request from a male student to be excused from attending a mixed gender class.

We are committed to gender equality, and do understand that at times religious accommodation need to be made.
However in this case your agreeing to the request goes beyond reasonable accommodation, and becomes discriminatory to women and girls.

As you are probably aware, a similar request – segregation in classes - in the U.K resulted in a directive from the representative body of the universities.
Fortunately, this directive was quickly reversed, but it required a lot of opposition before this occurred.
We hope that York University will not require petitions and more media coverage for a change in your position.

We wholeheartedly support Professor Grayson’s decision not to allow this request, and we hope his decision will set the precedent and not your statements.
Please believe us when we tell you that such actions undermine our efforts for gender equality.

Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.
Regards,

Alia Hogben

Executive Director
Canadian Council of Muslim Women. www.ccmw.com