University of Copenhagen swaps men’s for gender-neutral toilets

“It’s a purely practical move,” says the operations manager

Unnecessary queuing: there are four times the number of women as men at the Faculty of Health Sciences (photo: iStock)
December 1st, 2021 12:21 pm| by Lena Hunter
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Complaints about the long queues for the women’s toilets have led to the introduction of gender-neutral toilets in place of the men’s at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, reports TV2. The women’s toilet remains unchanged.

“It’s a practical move. There is a gender distribution of 80-20 in favour of women at the Faculty of Health Sciences,” said the operations manager, Nicolaj Brinkmann.

The current toilet architecture is built to anticipate a 50-50 gender split, with the same capacity in each. While fair in theory, in practice the demand for women’s toilets is far higher.

“There is always a large queue for the ladies’ toilets, while there is no queue for the men’s toilets,” said Brinkmann.

No complaints
The gender-neutral policy has been in place since August and has been a success so far. “It doesn’t seem like anyone is against it. We have not received any complaints at all. If we have found a solution that makes everyone happy, we’ll implement it permanently,” he said.

Brinkmann emphasised that the arrangement wouldn’t have been possible if there had been urinals in the men’s toilets to begin with. He also acknowledged the situation might ruffle some feathers.

“It could cause some debate, but ultimately it’s a completely practical matter. It’s about there being a queue for the ladies’ toilet and not for the men’s toilet,” he reasoned.

The arrangement will be evaluated at the end of the semester.

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