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Dutch women protest lack of female-friendly public toilets


Women in five Dutch cities took to the streets in protest at the paucity of female-friendly public toilets. The protests took the form of peeing in the street, an act that can be punished by a 90 euro fine.

In five cities – Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Rotterdam and Utrecht – several hundred women relieved themselves in male urinals or on the street on Saturday last week, according to protest group Zeikwijven, or “pissing women.”

The protest – “Power to the Peepee” – was organized by Geerte Piening, who was found guilty earlier this week of public urination in a place where there was no toilet for women. She was fined €90 ($105).

She said the protesters want to prove “that it isn’t possible for women to urinate in a decent, hygienic and dignified manner in a public urinal designed for men.”

By mid-afternoon, more than 160 images had been posted on Instagram under the hashtag #zeikwijf. Some of the images will be sent to Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker with a petition called “Urination Equality in the Netherlands.”

Unequal facilities

The protest was triggered after a male judge told the 23-year-old Piening that she should have used a men’s urinal. “It would not be pleasant but it can be done,” the judge said, according to local media.

On Saturday, some demonstrators urinated on copies of the ruling as part of their protest.

Piening complained that there are dozens of toilets for men in her home city of Amsterdam but only a couple for women. She claims her public urination was an emergency and that she had no alternative.

Organizers said there are 35 permanent public urinals in central Amsterdam compared to three public toilets suitable for women.

jbh/kl (dpa, AFP)



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30.09.2017 | 12:30