Saturday, February 1, 2014

How Did Sheema Khan Do This?

Well, I'll be... Another one found me. She's a Sharia-compliant Sista... This is a ruse.

Sheema Khan stick-handles Muslim misconceptions
Sheema Khan
Is gender equality negotiable?  I don't think so and am among those outraged, and baffled, by York University's recent decision allowing religious accommodation to trump female students' right to gender equality in the classroom.
Last fall, a York student asked sociology Professor Paul Grayson to be excused from group work so he wouldn't have to interact with female students.He cited religious belief. The student was aware from the outset that while the class was online, in-person group work would be required. Professor Grayson denied the student's request for religious accommodation, reasoning that it would infringe on the female students' rights to be treated as equals, and would make the University “an accessory to sexism”.
York Administration disagreed, seeing no harm in allowing a male student to be exempt from working with females! But Professor Grayson stood firm. The student accepted his decision and participated in group work - female students included.  But the issue is far from over. York continues to insist that the student should have been granted accommodation. The University administration had also advised Professor Grayson to keep the exemption request quiet.
York has handled this situation badly, and in the process has created confusion about our rights are in Ontario, and how cases of competing rights should  be handled - especially when a deeply-cherished value such as gender equality is at risk of being compromised. That's why I started this petition demanding York University reverse its decision.
Specifically, York's administration says that it based its decision on the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC). However, it seems that York missed the OHRC's policy on competing rights, which ironically was unveiled at York, and which states that "constitutional values and societal interests including equality rights of women" should be taken into consideration. If you're interested, please check out the guide which contains examples of cases similar to that at York, in which gender equality was deemed to take precedence. 
Please sign my petition and show your support for gender equality. In our increasingly diverse society, clarity is essential in matters of human rights - especially when public outrage is so loud.
Sheema Khan
(Creative Commons photo credit: Theonlysilentbob)

No comments:

Post a Comment