Screenshot of the notes a Whaleoil reader scribbled on a handout during the 2016 Watersafe Auckland Inc AGM
The so-called demand for gender segregation in a public pool in Mount Roskill appears to have coincided with the increase in the Muslim population in Mount Roskill. In response to the needs of Muslim migrants uncomfortable with a culture that treats women as equals and provides co-ed public swimming programmes, the Muslim Women’s Swimming project was created.
“A culturally appropriate swimming project was developed to address the health and social need of the new migrant community in Auckland particularly for women of Muslim faith. Women’s only swimming was piloted in Mt. Roskill in 2004,and has continued since then.
The Muslim Women’s Swimming Project has been evaluated three times since
its inception in 2005… This is the fourth evaluation report and the purpose is to report on progress since2007 to ensure that it remains an appropriate and relevant option for the intended audience.
Note that there has been a name change from the Muslim Women’s Swimming
Project to the Women’s Swimming Programme to encourage women of all cultures to attend the programme, however the focus does remain on increasing health and wellbeing of migrant and refugee women and those of Muslim faith.”
For some communities, mainstream methods of learning water safety and swimming lessons are not appropriate, and participation in water based activity often conflict with cultural and religious values…
-New Migrants and Refugee Swimming Programme Evaluation Report