Monday, November 26, 2012

Gender Segregation...

Hair dressing salon operators in Kota Bharu, in the state of Kelantan administered by Islamic political party PAS, are being harassed by local council enforcers.  The salons may have their operation license revoked under the Local Council Act Section 170(2). 

Apparently a Local Council Act by-laws stipulates that woman is prohibited from cutting the hair of a man, and vice versa, regardless of the religion.  The rule is also observed at supermarket and hypermarkets check-out counters.  Kelantan state local government committee chairman Datuk Takyuddin Hassan said the state was serious about the policy.

Gender segregation is among the controversial regulations imposed by religiously zealous Local Government.  Earlier, Kuala Selangor District Council had all cinema operator within its jurisdiction to adhere a gender segregation ruling for unmarried Muslim couples.

In 2011, PAS-led Kedah government was condemned for trying to imposed gender segregation at its state-level New Year’s eve countdown celebration in Sungai Petani.  Kedah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said there was nothing wrong with men and women sitting separately, in fact such a move could avoid indecent behaviors.

In 2008, a school in Senawang had been reported practicing gender segregation.  The students are not allowed to study in the same class, eat at the same table in the canteen, or to conduct experiments in the same lab.  It is not known if the headmaster Muhammad Amir YM Sharrif has been disciplined for his action against Education Ministry policy.

Some over-jealous law makers from ruling party, Datuk Noraini Ahmad, even dreaming of a gender segregated hospital !

Gender segregation is definitely a form of sexual discrimination, a violation of human rights, even if the supporters claiming it is necessary to maintain decency, sacredness, female safety , bla bla bla.

I do agree that it is logical to have separate toilets, showers, changing rooms, sauna, etc.

Yes, we can have separate commuter coaches, female driven taxies, female police/immigration officers performing body search on females, female gynecologist attending female patients….

But can we force everyone to wear hijab / burqa / jilbab /  tudung ?

Do we need separate hospitals, schools or stadium ?
Do we need gender separation in swimming pools, gyms, libraries, cinemas, parks, hotels, beaches ?
Do we need to have separate cashier counters ? toll booths ? ticket counters ? hotel receptions ? customer services ? waiters/waitresses ?
How about secretaries ? personal assistants ? body guards ?
Bus ? car ? motorcycle ?

Can the extreme gender segregation prevent incest, rape, sodomy,  adultery, pre/extra-marital relationship, child marriage, sexual harassment, polygamy, domestic violence, prostitution ?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Matthew 5:27-28