All public buildings must provide single-sex loos under government plans being drafted to support women who feel uncomfortable sharing with a man.
In a huge blow to activists wanting gender-neutral bathrooms, Robert Jenrick, the Communities secretary, is said to be updating regulations as unisex bathrooms, where men and women share a toilet, are causing “great distress”, the Telegraph reports.
The Mirror reported in 2019 how pupils were skipping school because they were so afraid of gender-neutral toilets.
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While claims that women would rather “wet themselves”
The latest reported changes to current regulation would see buildings that have already installed unisex facilities needing to introduce self-contained cubicles for men and women.
Mr Jenrick’s department had launched a review into unisex toilets amid public outcry over their introduction by public companies and authorities.
The changes aim to support females “given the particular health needs of women”, a departmental source said, while they are supported by the fact that “men’s urinals can serve more customers at a quicker pace”.
A source close to Mr Jenrick said: “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.
“We’ve listened to the concerns raised by women and the elderly about their security, dignity and safety and are going to maintain and improve safeguards by updating regulations in order to ensure that there is always the necessary provision of separate toilets for everyone in the community.”
It comes after MyLondon reported earlier this month how the removal of a set of public toilets in Camden stirred a heated debate on social media as one local branded the move “utter madness”.
The toilets, situated on Parkway just off the high street, normally have separate sets for ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ on either side of the road.
A sign at the front of the stairwell for what would normally be the ‘ladies’ cubicles now reads ‘ladies and gents’.
The ‘gents’ toilets on the other side are closed.
Posting on Facebook, Lorraine Ashard described it as “utter madness”, while she told MyLondon: “This particular toilet is not the safest place at the best of times”.
“It’s largely unstaffed. It is dimly lit, and is regularly used by addicts and dealers.”
“I believe it is only a matter of time because there is a serious incident as a result of this.
“It is simply inviting trouble. It’s senseless, ill-thought out and Camden should be prepared to be held accountable should someone suffer an assault.”
But others spoke in support of the change as they said it was about “equality between men and women”, as well as to “guarantee respect for non-binary people”.