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Discriminaton question from my DH for anyone with a bit of legal knowledge.

(9 Posts)
nettie Tue 07-Aug-07 08:50:19

Our local college provides a variety of woodworking courses, the higher level ones are open to either gender, but the basic beginners course is only available to women (at a much lower cost than the others courses), there is no equivelant (sp) course that men can access.

DH is thinking of bringing this up with the college, but would like some opinions on if this actually discriminaton.

Freckle Tue 07-Aug-07 08:55:50

I don't think that a college can discriminate in that way and, to my mind, it is clear discrimination. Why are they doing this? Is it a back-to-basics, let's-do-it-in-the-nude course? If so, I could understand the women only rule, but, if not, it is blatent discrimination.

Freckle Tue 07-Aug-07 08:57:35

See here.

bran Tue 07-Aug-07 08:58:46

Does he want to do a basic beginners course or is it just that he thinks it's discriminatory?

If the college gets enough interest for a non-gender specific basic course then they may put one on in the future. I don't think that it's necessarily discrimination to put on a course aimed at people who may be intimidated by their lack of knowledge and who would be put off by fear of being the only woman in a woodworking class or the only over 60 in computer class. The point of having a gender/age/whatever restricted intake is to encourage people who would otherwise not take the course.

nettie Tue 07-Aug-07 09:09:28

Yes to both!

He's interested in doing the basic course and then when he found there was just the womens only one, it irritated him. He doesn't have a problem with there being a women only course, just that there isn't an equivelent course that men can access.

PTA Tue 07-Aug-07 09:14:38

It may not be the fault of the college that the course is only for women. Our local college has a number of courses that are only for women because they are funded by an outside agency, some with EU money which is gender spesific.

edam Tue 07-Aug-07 09:14:59

Possibly they have run basic courses previously and not had any takers, but think there may be interest in a women-only course? Or perhaps they are trying to attract a specific group such as Muslim women from a culture where they aren't allowed to be in a room with men or something - do you have a big Arab or Afghani population nearby? Maybe you'd have to wear a face mask and that means taking any veils off.

This is all speculation, why doesn't dh ask the college what the reason is?

Freckle Tue 07-Aug-07 09:29:42

But the point is, whatever the college's reasoning, it is illegal to make the course gender specific.

binklehasflipped Tue 07-Aug-07 09:34:37

I suspect the course is aimed and marketed towards women but that if a man so wished to join a female dominated course that he would be accommodated, because as has been said, its probably illegal not to.

I think its actually quite accommodating of the college to introduce these devoted classes to encourage women into hobbies/vocations they are not generally associated with. My college ran a women only car maintenance course that was very well subscribed to. It is discrimination in a sense but hard to take offence at especially if there are equivalent courses available.

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