Campaign for more toilets

Updated: 2011-08-12 09:18

(China Daily)

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Public toilets have become an important part of Guangzhou's urban construction plan. The public toilet drive has gained momentum because many people are demanding that there should be more public toilets for women than men, says an article in the Oriental Morning Post. Excerpts:

Long queues in front of women's toilets are a common sight at railway and bus stations, airports, cinemas and parks. Though the problem seems to have escaped most city and public facility planners, Guangzhou city authorities are determined to solve it.

According to a study conducted by Cornell University, the average time men and women spend in a toilet per visit is 45 and 80 seconds.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has increased the average number of toilets for men and women from 4:5 to 2:3. The Taiwan architecture law, too, says the number of toilets in facilities such as schools, railway and bus stations, airports and cinemas should be in the ratio of 1:5 for men and women, because they are used all the time. In facilities such as shopping malls, offices and factories, it recommends a ratio of 1:3, because they are not necessarily used all the time. And the Shanghai 2010 World Expo experience shows the ratio should be around 5:11 or 4:10.

The figures show that Guangzhou should have more public toilets for women than men. But the legislation process to increase the number of women's toilets could be long drawn and involve reconstruction. Therefore, women should make this part of the campaign they have been leading on many fronts, including equal pay and more positions in the government.

After all, the central government has put the plan to increase the number of women's toilets and recruit more women in the same document, that is, the Outline for the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020).

China Daily

(China Daily 08/12/2011 page9)