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New Gaza law mandates gender segregation in Palestinian schools

Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

A Palestinian teacher speaks in class at a school in Gaza City on April 2.

Mohammed Salem / Reuters

Palestinian school children raise their hands during a class in al-Qahera elementary school in Gaza City on April 2. New rules from the Education Ministry of the Islamist Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip will bar men from teaching at girls' schools and mandate separate classes for boys and girls from the age of nine.

By Dalia Nammari, Ibrahim Barzak, The Associated Press

Starting with the new school year in September, Gaza boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side.

Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that the new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age nine, enshrines common practice. But women's activists warned Tuesday that it's another step in the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza's 1.7 million people. Continue reading.

Hatem Moussa / AP

Palestinian school girls and boys walk in front of a United Nations Relief and Works Agency elementary school in Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, on April 2. Gaza's Hamas-controlled parliament has passed a law requiring separate classes for boys and girls in public and private schools from the fourth grade. Currently, boys and girls are separated in grade seven in public schools, but private schools can set their own rules.

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