Newly built offices, schools, hospitals and entertainment venues in England will be required to include separate single-sex bathrooms under soon-to-be-released rules, according to a new report.
The UK parliament will announce this week that it is seeking to prevent non-residential buildings from being built solely with “universal,” or all-gender, restrooms, The Telegraph revealed Saturday.
Sources told the British newspaper that ministers and Prime Minister Boris Johnson believe the regulations should cover all buildings that house businesses. The rules would only apply to such buildings over a certain size.
The measure is being helmed by Minister for Women and Equalities Kemi Badenoch, who the Telegraph said was recently told that some young students stay away from using restrooms at schools because they only have gender-neutral ones.
Badenoch, a Conservative Party member, has reportedly said that it is “important” to provide single-sex spaces for men and women.
A British government source told The Telegraph: “It is vital that women feel safe and comfortable when using public facilities and that there is a greater emphasis on provision that is focused on dignity, privacy, tolerance and respect for all.”
The paper reported that ministers are likely to present the new policies as a “common sense” way to prevent the recent trend in which gender-neutral bathrooms have become standard in newly constructed buildings.