Zurich: only unisex toilets in bars and clubs? – «I would feel insecure»
ZurichOnly unisex toilets in bars and clubs? – “I would feel insecure”
What is already commonplace in Bern and Lucerne should now also become standard in the canton of Zurich: gender-neutral toilets in restaurants, bars and clubs.
That’s what it’s about
Offer Zurich restaurants with more than 50 seats and separate toilets.
An alliance of SP, FDP and SVP representatives is now demanding that restaurants with more than 50 seats no longer have to offer gender-separated toilets.
Opinions on the demand from politicians differ, as a 20-minute poll shows.
The Zurich Bar and Club Committee welcomes the push from politics.
One toilet for everyone: Large Bernese catering establishments & no longer offer separate toilets since last November. The unisex toilet has also been standard in Lucerne pubs since 2018. And the city of Zurich also announced last summer that a third of the toilets in new school buildings will be gender-neutral in the future.
Although the trend towards gender-neutral toilets is increasing, Zurich restaurants with more than 50 seats have to offer separate toilets for their guests. The reason is a law from 1982. Now an alliance of SP, FDP and SVP representatives is calling for a revision of the law: catering establishments should no longer have to offer separate toilets, according to FDP cantonal councilor Sonja Rueff-Frenkel, SP cantonal councilor Andrew Katumba and Zurich SVP President Domenik Ledergerber.
SVP involved in the advance
Although the Swiss SVP likes to talk about “gender madness”, SVP President Ledergerber supports the move: “Yes, it’s actually an unholy alliance with the SP. We from the SVP see economic freedom in the foreground in this initiative. » Ledergerber emphasizes that he is still of the opinion that there is no need for gender-neutral toilets in schools.
FDP politician Sonja Rueff-Frenkel is also concerned with the economic freedom of catering companies: “The fact that a pub with 55 seats has to offer two gender-separated toilets, but not a company with 49 seats, is arbitrary.” The fact that the entrepreneur had to plan two toilets and lose so much space is “insane”.
According to SP Cantonal Councilor Andrew Katumba, this initiative primarily brought an old law into line with current social norms and interests. “When society changes, the guidelines must also change.” According to the undersigned, it was not easy for the cantonal councils of the various parties to agree on the initiative. “The discussion is about, among other things, ensuring safety in the gender-neutral toilets,” says Katumba. “Of course, it is not the goal that club operators have to place security workers in front of the toilets.”
Opinions are divided
To ensure safety, the politicians are proposing that in the future cabin walls will be sealed from floor to ceiling. “Are the operators also interested in making the guests feel comfortable,” says Katumba.
A street number of 20 minutes shows: Opinions are divided (see video). People disagree, especially when it comes to the feel-good factor. For example, 20-year-old Aliza says she supports gender-neutral toilets. “But I can probably also imagine that there are women who would find men uncomfortable on the toilet.” Especially when pads or tampons have to be changed.
17-year-old Suna says she understands that gender-neutral toilets should be built. But she still says: “I would prefer it if the toilets were separated in the future.” They simply feel more comfortable sharing the toilet only with women.
Uncertainty in catering establishments
The move in the cantonal council is welcomed by the Zurich Bar and Club Commission. As managing director Alexander Bücheli says, there were also uncertainties among club operators on this topic. “The concern of meeting customer requirements with gender-separated toilets is definitely real,” says Bücheli.
In terms of safety, however, Bücheli is less concerned. “The toilet is a meeting place. We don’t believe that assaults due to gender-appropriate toilets will increase.”
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