We note the story in the Telegraph today which reports on government plans to strengthen the regulations on the provision of single-sex toilets and properly self-contained unisex toilets. WPUK submitted evidence to the technical review which is referred to in the Telegraph article.
WPUK evidence to Government Review
You can read our submission here: WPUK evidence to Governmental Technical Review on Toilets 2021
We have always been clear that an already poor provision of toilets for women would be worsened by the trend towards mixed sex toilets. Access to single-sex toilets is vital to enable women’s activity in public life.
The case for single-sex toilets
As our guest blogger said in a post for us in 2018, gender neutral toilets don’t work for women:
Women have less than half the level of provision of toilets as men owing to historical sexist legal requirements that favoured men and because, even if the floor-space area for the Ladies and Gents is identical, men will always have more places to pee because you can fit far more urinals in than cubicles.
Therefore, women always queue for the loo, because of unequal provision. Women also take longer to use the toilet for biological reasons.
Women have more reasons to use the toilet than men, including menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, incontinence, and caring for babies, small children and elderly relatives.
Yet no government has accepted that this is a gross infringement of human rights and equalities legislation; more likely women are blamed for ‘taking too long’ or their plight is seen as a joke.
Women’s toilets currently don’t meet the needs of women who have campaigned and waited for change for ages. Now their needs are to be further ignored.
We hope that government is finally listening to the voices of women and experts in the field.
The provision of toilet facilities must meet the needs of all
Government, civic, and commercial organisations must now invest in toilet provision that properly meet the needs of everyone. This should include enough single-sex toilets to meet demand as well as separate self-contained unisex as well as accessible toilets.
16th May 2021
You can see more of our resources and statements here
Download our model letter for you to use in challenging the removal of single sex toilets
Watch Prof. Clara Greed on women’s toilets at WPUK Bath meeting November 2018
EARL SHILTON TOWN COUNCIL v MILLER December 2022 Employment Tribunal Judgment Appeal 2022 (upholding an Employment Tribunal’s judgment that provision of inadequate toilet facilities for women subjected the claimant to direct sex discrimination.)
We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.