09 March 2016

Stop allowing gender-segregated meetings, David Cameron tells Labour

Labour denies organising segregated meetings, after PM says people with ‘bigoted religious views’ are treating women as second-class citizens.

David Cameron has accused Labour of allowing people with “bigoted religious views” to organise political meetings where men and women are segregated.

There have been several reports of Labour politicians addressing meetings where men and women are segregated – in Birmingham last May and during the Oldham byelection campaign in December. The party has always denied allowing meetings to be organised in this way.

One general election meeting in Birmingham addressed by Tom Watson and four other Labour MPs was reportedly advertised to local Muslim communities as having a “women’s section”, and a sign was said to have directed female attendees to separate seats.

Cameron raised the issue during prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, in response to a Labour MP asking about cuts to benefits for women. He said the opposition’s contribution to gender equality should be to stop allowing political meetings to be segregated for religious or cultural reasons. [The Guardian] Read more