The provision of single-sex public toilets has enabled women to participate fully in society. Before the existence of such provision, women were subject to a ‘urinary leash’ restricting our movement and access to all walks of public life.
Recent decisions to convert women’s toilets into mixed sex toilets are therefore a direct attack on our civil, political and economic rights.
We are glad that the Government has listened to the voices of women on this.
In a report in the Telegraph, a Government source said:
“It is clear that there needs to be a public service provision for everyone in our community and all people should be treated with dignity and respect.
“The Government is committed to maintaining safeguards that protect women.
“Proper provision of separate toilets for both men and for women, which has long been a regulatory requirement, should be retained and improved.”
The Government is backed in this assertion by Raymond Boyd Martin, managing director of the British Toilet Association:
“Where space and planning allows, the BTA would always support the concept of separate facilities for females and males.”
Despite this, too many local authorities, businesses, workplaces, and public authorities such as schools and the NHS are ignoring their statutory obligations towards meeting the needs of women. We call on them to ensure that they are abiding by the regulations and their duties towards all groups with protected characteristics.
See here for our model letter for you to use to challenge the move to single sex toilets
Watch Professor Clara Greed talk about the importance of single-sex toilet provision for women and girls.