New public buildings in the United Kingdom are going to be required to have single-sex restrooms.
The utilitarian facilities, in virtually all public buildings for generations, were being removed and converted to all-sex facilities surreptitiously, and that created problems for the visiting public, according to reports.
So, according to the Christian Institute, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick is amending current rules to ensure that single-sex restrooms are installed in new buildings – and present whenever a building is refurbished.
Offices, shops, hospitals and more will be covered by the rules, the report said.
Those locations where gender-neutral facilities already exist will be remodeled to install partitions “to improve privacy,” the report said.
The Daily Telegraph reported a source revealed, “It’s a necessity for women to have access to their own provision of toilets, but too often separate sex toilets are being removed by stealth – causing great distress.”
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government launched a review on the issue last November following several complaints that institutions had replaced single-sex toilets with gender-neutral ones.
The Telegraph reported the move was addressing “misconceptions that removing sex-specific toilets are a requirement of equality legislation.”
The Telegraph said, “Under the changes, the buildings will have to provide separate lavatories for women ‘given the particular health needs of women, and the fact that men’s urinals can serve more customers at a quicker pace.’”
And the report said buildings with “unisex” offerings will have to remodel to “offer men and women entirely self-contained cubicles, with basins inside, to protect the privacy of occupants.”
Jenrick’s “review” of the dispute looked at the ratio of female lavatories needed against those for men given “the obvious need for women to always use cubicles,” the report said.
Lawmakers had warned as long as a year ago that gender-neutral lavatories made women feel uncomfortable, the Telegraph said.
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