The ruling will apply to females and anyone who presents with female breasts , Source: Depositphotos

Berlin allows topless swimming in public pools

Berlin allows topless swimming in public pools

Authorities say this is a step towards gender equality in public spaces because the same rules would apply to everyone

Today, authorities in Berlin announced that going topless to public swimming pools will now be allowed. This decision came after an incident in 2020 was raised to the Ombudsman in the State Office for Equal Treatment (Ombudsstelle der Landesstelle für Gleichbehandlung).

According to a statement by the city, public pool rules were too vague to prohibit topless swimmers of any gender. At the same time, going forward, Berlin’s bathing establishments should not change their internal rules and proceed with allowing gender-equal access to pools.

This development echoes a similar issue in Göttingen, Germany, from the summer of 2022. There, local authorities allowed topless swimming after a similar incident.

Gender equality at public pools

Berlin officials have said that in the future, all standards in bathing establishments will be applied equally to all who attend, allowing for more gender equality. This simply means that swimsuit regulations will be more liberal and treated as a non-gender-specific attribute.

In effect, this would make topless swimming possible for both females and anyone who has breasts that present as female.

Importantly, the new regulation would not mandate any type of upper-body coverings for visitors to public pools, instead allowing citizens to choose for themselves.

This ruling came after the State Office for Equal Treatment received a complaint in 2020 from a woman who was not allowed to swim topless like her male counterparts. This was despite the fact that the swimming establishment did not have gender-specific regulations for bathing attire, simply prescribing ‘commercial swimwear’, according to official sources.

A spokesperson for the Ombudsmen’s office was quoted in a press statement, explaining: "The decision of the bathing establishments creates equal rights for all Berliners, whether male, female or non-binary. It also creates legal certainty for the staff in the bathing establishments. Now it is a matter of the regulation being applied consistently and no more evictions or house bans being issued.”



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