A children's play centre has barred fathers from attending with their children…*yawn*
… and is now facing an investigation by equality watchdogs.*wakes up* Oh!
Emma Cross, of Manchester-based law firm Pannone and a specialist in discrimination law, said: ‘Under the Equality Act it can be lawful to limit your services to one gender or religious group, but you must be able to “objectively justify” what you have done.
‘To my mind it would be difficult for the centre to show it has met this test when it could have offered women-only sessions or days of the week instead.’*rubs hands together, gets popcorn*
So, what's the response in the community? It must welcome it, surely?
Councillor Habib Rehman, a Muslim father-of-four, said it was a ‘worrying situation’. He added: ‘There’s something wrong when a dad can’t take his kids to a play centre.’
Ruksana Ayub, a Muslim mother-of-one, said while Muslim women may feel ‘more able to relax’ in a setting where they don’t ‘feel they have to cover up’, she thought it ‘quite shocking in this day and age that men aren’t allowed in’.
Another resident, who only gave her name as Gemma, said: ‘I have four boys, luckily all under the age of nine, but if one of them was older, I wouldn’t be able to take any of them.
'It’s not fair to leave one of them out.’Well, well, well! Wonders will never cease!
And, as Quiet Man points out, had this been any other sort of group, one might expect the Guardianistas to be up in arms. Instead, nothing.
It remains, of course, to see if anything is done, or if these are just empty threats.