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Protest against ‘gender apartheid’ on UUK’s doorstep

About 70 people held a rally outside the headquarters of vice-chancellors' group Universities UK last night to protest against the group’s recently issued guidance that universities should feel able to segregate by gender at events held on campus.

The protestors argued that any segregation on gender was discriminatory and amounted to “gender apartheid”. Placard slogans held by demonstrators included: “Separate is never equal” and “Shame on UUK”. The rally began at 17.00h outside UUK’s offices in Woburn House on Tavistock Square on 10 December.

UUK’s controversial guidance, issued to universities on 22 November, stated that when a university was due to host an external speaker who requests gender segregation at the event on the grounds of belief or religion, the university might consider how to accommodate this request. Most speakers at the protest were representatives of atheist and humanist societies and campaign groups. Some of them spoke against what they claim is a “rise of Islamism” in UK institutions.

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