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January 16, 2014

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Women in call for more places to go

MORE cubicles are needed in women’s toilets as currently females have to queue far more than men, the Shanghai Women’s Federation said yesterday.

A survey of 500 public toilets in Shanghai by the group found that 38 percent have the same number of male and female cubicles.

And barely 12 percent have a ratio of male to female cubicles at 1 to 2 or above, the federation said.

The remainder had a ratio falling between these.

The federation urged the city urban planning department introduce standards for a male to female cubicle ratio of 1 to 2.5 at public places such as stations, schools, cinemas and shopping malls.

This arrangement proved satisfactory at the Shanghai Expo site, said the group.

“I had a recent experience of waiting a long time outside a toilet at the Grand Theater,” said Li Rong, a federation spokeswoman. “Long waits are not good for the health.”

And there should be even more cubicles at shopping malls, said Li, as there are always more women than men there.

She advised the urban planning department refuse developers a construction permit if public toilet facilities in the planned building don’t meet standards.

In 2012, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said it would gradually adjust the ratio of male to female cubicles to 1 to 2 or to 1 to 3.

Li said another factor making this an urgent issue is that Shanghai attracts a large number of visitors from home and abroad every year.

The group said the ratio of male to female cubicles in Taiwan must be 1 to 3 at stations, schools and cinemas or developers will not get a construction permit.

And the ratio of Hong Kong is 1 to 1.5.



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