Right To Pee Campaign: Why Are Women Required To Pay More Than Men In Public Urinals?

Right To Pee Campaign: Why Are Women Required To Pay More Than Men In Public Urinals?

Public toilets are essential facilities that should be accessible to everyone, a notable disparity exists in the pricing structure for restroom facilities, where urinals are freely available for men, while women are required to pay.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Sunday, March 10, 2024, 08:17 PM IST
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Public toilets are essential facilities that should be accessible to everyone, a notable disparity exists in the pricing structure for restroom facilities, where urinals are freely available for men, while women are required to pay.

Restroom access should be a universal right

This discrepancy not only raises questions about equality but also places an undue financial burden on women for a basic necessity. The debate intensifies when considering that restroom access should be a universal right, irrespective of gender.

"This practice not only places an undue financial burden on women, but also perpetuates an environment where the needs of different genders are not treated on an equal footing," said Shazia Bano, a resident of Mahim, adding, "During our periods we need at least Rs30 to Rs35 to use the wash room."

Beyond the monetary aspect, another significant challenge women face in several public toilets is the discomfort arising from the presence of male attendants. This situation can be particularly distressing for women who prefer the presence of female attendants to ensure a more secure and comfortable environment.

Collective effort required

"Transforming the landscape of public toilets in Mumbai requires a collective effort from policymakers, facility managers and citizens alike. By dismantling gender-based pricing structures and implementing practices that prioritise inclusivity and comfort, we can move towards a city where everyone, regardless of gender, can access public facilities with dignity and equality," said Sandhya Nair, another residents of Mahim.

When The Free Press Journal enquired at a public restroom in Mumbai, the operator said that men are charged differently for "No 1 and No 2".

He explained the challenge of determining women’s requirement, leading to them being charged for "No 2" by default. According to the operator, the flush toilet facility comes with a Rs5 charge, while urinals can be used free of charge.

Another public toilet operator highlighted the need for extensive cleaning of women's toilets at least two to three times a day, compared to maintaining men’s urinals, which demand less intensive cleaning.

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