Letter to the editor: Women-only hours a regressive step

Soumia Allalou argues in favour of women-only gym hours, citing in support her religious beliefs which forbid her from sharing a gym with men. In Canada we are fortunate to live in a secular, non-segregated society where men and women live and work together. I believe that introducing segregation of the sexes for religious reasons would be a regressive step.

Increasing gym usage by under-represented groups is a laudable goal, but I don’t believe that excluding other groups is the solution. Maybe the students concerned could learn from the example of the Women in Physics (WiP) group in the Department of Physics. WiP aims to increase female participation in Physics at all levels, but their events are open to all, regardless of sex. I would argue that such an inclusive approach ensures support from all members of the community, male and female, and is preferable to exclusion and segregation.

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