A public pool in Tukwila, Washington (a suburb of Seattle), has some residents and city council members concerned over women-only swimming accommodations.  They believe it is equivalent to gender segregation.

A debate over the women-only program began at last week's meeting of the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District.  Some of the commissioners also sit on the city council.  They want to keep the program going.

But one resident said she is concerned that Muslim women do not feel safe living with the men of their community.  ILLUME media was unable to get comment from the Muslim community at the time of this story.

Women are offered a 90-minute time slot on Sunday afternoons to swim in the absence of men.  The program was introduced this summer and in the name of fairness, managers introduced a special 90-minute men-only slot as well.  About 30 women come, including some Muslim women, who may believe it more modest for them to swim in a pool without men.

The decision was to keep the women-only pool times for now.  But in early November, a resident filed a gender-discrimination complaint with the state Human Rights Commission (HRC).  She is challenging the Tukwila pool's men-only component, complaining that she is now unable to accompany and supervise her 11-year-old son there.

The complaint was dropped after the HRC determined that no state gender-discrimination laws are being violated since the pool offers a men-only program.  There are eight pools in King County that have women-only time slots.  Yet those that do not offer men-only slots could face legal challenges on the future.

Seattle is not the only city to offer women-only swim programs.  A FOX news story is also generating discussion around women-only swim programs alleging it is an example of shariah law in America.

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