6 February 2020

Advice on one all-gender toilet per building accepted

Pictogram genderneutraal toilet

In 2018, a pilot was started with three all-gender toilet groups. Even before this pilot, a number of toilets were already all-gender. All-gender means that the toilets can be used by everyone, you don't have to check whether it is a men’s or women’s toilet. The aim of the pilot was to investigate whether it is desirable to expand the number of all-gender toilets or even make them a standard. The Executive Board adopted the advice of the Facilities Service Centre (FSC) to have at least one all-gender toilet group in all buildings where this is technically and financially possible.

Analysis

During the pilot, surveys were conducted to get an overview of users’ experiences. The results were analysed and an advice was drawn up based on these results. The analysis shows that a combination of separate man/woman toilets and all-gender toilets can count on most support. This is also in line with the UU's policy to promote inclusivity. In this context, inclusivity implies that everyone can feel welcome and that toilet users with a (sometimes strong) preference for all-gender toilets as well as toilet users with a (sometimes strong) preference for separate man/woman toilets are met. Switching to exclusively all-gender toilets or exclusively separated man/woman toilets cannot count on sufficient support.

Advice

Therefore, the FSC advised to have at least one all-gender toilet group per building in new buildings as a standard. In existing buildings, the advice is to start with the educational locations (where many people come) with at least one all-gender toilet per building if this is possible without large investments. 

The all-gender toilets must meet a number of requirements so that they are pleasant for everyone, such as the presence of trash cans for sanitary articles, separated urinals and mirrors in the toilet.

The advice has been discussed with the University Council and has been adopted by the Executive Board. As a first follow-up step, the FSC will make an inventory of existing educational buildings in which all-gender toilets can be realised and of the costs involved. The toilet groups that have been converted into all-gender toilets for the pilot will remain all-gender toilets.

Why all-gender toilets?

Inclusivity is a topic that has been receiving increasing attention in society, the media and also within the university. In the separated man / woman toilets, a person's gender matters more than outside it. As a result, there are people who avoid these separated toilets or who visit them with discomfort. To make everyone feel welcome, the university conducted the pilot with all-gender toilets.