The row over sex segregation on campus has erupted once more, as a spokesperson for David Cameron has said that the Prime Minister “Does not believe that guest speakers should be allowed to address segregated audiences.”
Sex segregation at religious meetings took the country by storm earlier this year, after allegations emerged that the University of Leicester’s Islamic society had allowed sex segregation at one of its meetings.
Universities UK, a group of university leaders, suggested guidelines last month that endorsed sex segregation at certain university events, so long as it was “side-by-side.”
The spokesperson for Mr Cameron said that “He does not believe that guest speakers should be allowed to address segregated audiences, so he believes that Universities UK (UUK) should urgently review its guidance.”
The Education secretary, Michael Gove, also entered the debate, telling the Daily Mail on Friday that “Speakers who insist on segregating audiences should not be indulged by educators,” and implying that any educators who allowed them to do so were “pandering to extremism.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was asked by UUK this week to “provide a clear and public statement about the law and the relevant policy considerations.”
The issue has been inflamed further when the Mail on Sunday today ran an article apparently showing images of segregated seating in the Students’ Union from a meeting earlier this year.
The University of Leicester, the University of Leicester Islamic Society, and the University of Leicester Students’ Union Womens officer did not provide comment at the time of publication.