Since no aspect of life is purely masculine or purely feminine, a world in which the separation of the sexes is extreme, distorts reality and perpetuates distortions. Segregation of the sexes in education, family life, employment, housing and public services leads to inequality and discrimination.
The world of a town is often split along sexual lines. Suburbs are for women, workplaces are for men; kindergartens are for women, professional schools for men; supermarkets are for women, hardware stores for men. Segregation in education fixes the roles for family life and later employment. Science is dominated by a masculine, and often mechanical, mentality; foreign diplomacy is governed by war, again the product of the masculine ego. Schools for young children are swayed by the world of women, as are homes. Religious schools are traditionally segregated according to sex, except perhaps for the very early years; this is most notable in Roman Catholic Schools in developed countries and their missionary schools in the developing world. Segregation in family life exists in its most complete form in traditional Muslim culture where boys have almost no contact with adult males until they have reached maturity, and girls are totally excluded from public life. Segregation in employment occurs universally, with a resulting segregation in public services based on the dependent status of women. Segregation in housing usually occurs with regard to institutions or hostels.
The institution of purdah, meaning segregation of the sexes, is indispensible in an Islamic society.