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Harvard implements female-only hours at gym to accommodate Muslim women looking to exercise
by Meghan Pesch
The warning "Girls Only" - formerly a sign reserved for tree houses and Girl Scout meetings - is now catching on at university gyms.
After six Muslim students at Harvard petitioned to the administration early this semester, the university began holding female-only gym hours in order to accommodate religious beliefs that prevent women from exercising in the presence of men.
At Harvard, the new program has been implemented in an experimental stage, during which its least popular gym is closed for six hours per week.
For Muslim women who must cover their hair, arms and legs in the presence of men, it is uncomfortable to work out while wearing faith-appropriate clothing. Shareda Hosein, Tufts' Muslim chaplain, said that the women-only gym hours allow Muslim women to wear standard workout attire.
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