University body withdraws gender segregation advice

The body that represents Britain's universities has withdrawn guidance on the gender segregation of audiences in lectures and debates after an intervention from David Cameron, write Rajeev Syal and Matthew Weaver for the Guardian.

Universities UK, or UUK, said that the controversial policy which allowed the voluntary separation of men and women at events such as lectures on Islam by visiting speakers was being dropped pending a review. The body had sought guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which said that while the law allows segregation by gender in premises being used for religious purposes, it was not permissible in an academic meeting or in a lecture open to the public.

The announcements followed severe criticisms from the prime minister's spokesman, who had said UUK should urgently review the guidance.
Full report on the Guardian site