Public urinals and useless and pointless for a large part of the population and should not be considered public toilet. , Source: Oliver Hale / Unsplash

Brussels city to get rid of ‘sexist’ public urinals

Brussels city to get rid of ‘sexist’ public urinals

The city wants to replace the male-only facilities with ones that are also suited for women and people with disabilities

Yesterday, the city of Brussels announced their intention to replace all public urinals with bathrooms that could be used by women and people with disabilities. According to Zoubida Jellab, Alderman for Green Spaces, Public Cleanliness and Animal Welfare, the cityscape in the Belgian capital has been designed by men for the use of men and this has to change.

The initiative kicked off with four new self-cleaning public toilets fit for the purpose. The initiative would work to reduce the imbalance in the use of public space between genders by providing solutions that are usable by all groups, regardless of gender or physical ability.

The Brussels public toilet disparity

Finding a place to relieve yourself in public is not easy sometimes, especially if you are a woman. This is doubly so, considering there are only 41 public toilets in the city and less than half are suitable for women. In the case of Brussels, there is also a fine of 250 euros for urination in public.

According to city officials, currently, there are 29 male-only public urinals compared to only 12 public toilets. Importantly, the urinals are unusable by both female residents and people with disabilities, creating a severe disparity.

Yet, the urinals are such a prevalent public toilet option for authorities because they are much cheaper to install. Nevertheless, alderman Jellab explained that the city plans to change all of them to be able to accommodate a broader demographic.

These four self-cleaning public toilets are just the first step, with Brussels officials claiming that another two are coming in 2024, along with many renovations to the old urinals, to make them more universal.

Alderman Jellab also explained that currently the toilets are cleaned twice a week which is an insufficient number, considering the large flow of pedestrians. She pointed out that the administration will examine the possibility of increasing sanitary control.    



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