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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Toilet occupation group is flushed with success

By Xu Lin and Li Wenfang  (China Daily)

09:06, February 27, 2012

Women line up outside a men's toilet in Beijing on Sunday in a campaign that calls for more facilities for women. "If you love her, don't let her wait in line," reads the sign. (Zou Hong / China Daily)

BEIJING / GUANGZHOU - Wang Lailin, 20, a university student from Zhengzhou, in Central China's Henan province, felt the first flush of success after she used the men's toilet in Beijing.

"Women were waiting outside and some were using the men's toilet. So I followed them. It was quicker and I saved time as I had a train to catch," she said.

Wang is one of those who benefited from the "Occupy Men's Toilet" group, which wants more public conveniences for women.

Female students in Beijing on Sunday occupied cubicles in the men's toilet near Deshengmen. Their purpose was to make sure that women who were waiting outside could use the facilities first. Volunteers outside the toilet held banners demanding "More conveniences for women, more gender equality", and "If you love her, don't let her wait in line".

"It's more difficult for women to answer the call of nature than for men as there are insufficient public women's toilets and the time women spend in the toilet is two or three times that of men," said organizer Li Tingting, 23, a university student from Beijing.

Li staged the first occupation on Feb 19 at a public toilet in Guangzhou, and set off a fierce public debate.

The urban management commission of Guangzhou responded last week. It said that since March, new and renovated women's toilet cubicles in Guangzhou have been required to cover an area at least 1.5 times that of a men's cubicle. Colleges and universities in Guangzhou have already enlarged women's cubicles.

Similar incidents can be traced back to 1996 in Taiwan. Following a protest by a group of female college students, toilet cubicles for women were enlarged.

According to an online survey on Sina Weibo about 84 percent of netizens, out of 2,824 who replied, were in favor of building more public toilets for women, while 9 percent were against it.

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Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

wende at 2012-02-2871.255.84.*
Occupy men"s toilet is not the solution. By enlarging women"s toilet could be a solution. Besides, men have equal rights too. Why should men give in to women? The stench in public toilets should be solved to improve China"s image. My experience in China"s travel were all positive with the exception of the public toilet and inconvenience to pedestrians when crossing the streets. Cars and pedestrians are fighting over the space and it is a dangerous situation. Traffic lights regulation should be improved to give safety to pedestrians.
Tracker at 2012-02-27122.107.107.*
If women spend 2-3 times more time in toilets than men perhaps they need to hurry up and not redo their makeup, pass on the latest gossip, text their best friend, waste toilet paper and generally hold up the toilets for other women to use. It is not a man"s fault women are so
helen at 2012-02-27203.82.80.*
Beware, before this could be hijacked by US State Dept and CIA for fomenting social unrest in China. This is dangerously naive. One thing could lead to another seemingly unrelated incident. Nipping it in the bud is the way to go otherwise more of this will emerge.A test to Beijing by subversive activists encouraged by foreign intelligence services ....

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