Gender equality?

Public pools can host women-only swim sessions, human rights group rules

People enjoy a hot afternoon at the Astoria Pool in the borough of Queens on the opening day of city pools on June 29, 2016 in New York City.(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Two public swimming pools in New York City will be allowed to have women’s-only swimming sessions but not separate hours for men, according to a ruling by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The two pools, located in Brooklyn, were already hosting the separate swimming sessions to accommodate orthodox Jewish women when an anonymous tip came in claiming that human rights violations might be taking place at the pools, according to The Associated Press. The Commission then launched a review of whether an exception to anti-discrimination laws should be made to accommodate the women. The pools will be able to host a few hours of female-only swimming per week.

Advocacy groups including the New York Civil Liberties Union criticized the decision, saying the “whole point of the human rights law is to treat everyone equal on the basis of sex and to make sure people are not discriminated against that basis.”

“They are creating an exemption based on the personal and religious beliefs of a certain community,” Erin Harrist of the NYCL said.

The women’s hours will be open to women of all religions, but mostly cater to Orthodox Jewish women, according to the report.

Read the full story from the The Associated Press.

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