Mixed reactions to Shanghai's first unisex public restroom

Shanghai's first gender-neutral public toilet will open on Nov 19 in Pudong.
PHOTO: Social media

The first unisex public bathroom in Shanghai, which aims to help reduce waiting times for such facilities, especially for women, has received mixed reactions.

Male users approached by China Daily were generally agreeable with having to share the space, while women formed the majority of those against the idea, citing safety and privacy concerns.

Scheduled to open on World Toilet Day on Nov 19, the bathroom has 10 unisex cubicles.

"I can accept it," said Dong Xiangbin, a Shanghai resident in his 30s. "It has doors and the partitions are made using stone instead of glass, so I'm OK with it."

Feng Min, 23, said, "I will use it during the daytime, but definitely not at night, because I think it is too dangerous."

Also, if the cubicles are not soundproof, it's going to be awkward for both parties because of the noise generating when people use the toilet, she added.

Liu Fang, 26, said she wouldn't use the facility unless she was in a rush. "I can't accept it. I prefer the traditional ones."

Located at the intersection of Zhangjiabang Road and South Pudong Road, the public bathroom also has a separate men-only area featuring four urinals, and another space allocated for people with disabilities and those with children.

Users have to go through the same doorway to access the restroom, while the stone partitions between the cubicles are 2.3 meters high and there are no gaps between the floor and the door.

"Ordinary restrooms use clapboards, but our partitions are made of cement," said Shen Yue, the restroom supervisor. "This bathroom is better than the conventional ones, because it's more spacious and there are also potted plants."

Authorities said that they will evaluate the response to the bathroom before deciding whether to open it around the clock or build more in the city.

 

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