Shorter Waits for Women in New York Restrooms

The City Council of New York City passed legislation this week requiring new public venues and those undergoing renovations, such as bars, restaurants, theaters or concert halls, to create restroom equity by establishing a two-to-one ratio of women’s to men’s stalls. Alternatively, businesses can comply by making more of their facilities unisex and increasing the number of stalls available to women. Schools, hospitals and prisons will not be affected by the legislation. According to the New York Times, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania and California already have similar measures in effect.

Council member Yvette D. Clarke (D), who sponsored this measure, told the Times that “there is something a bit degrading about standing in line to use a bathroom,” and later called the passage “a women’s rights accomplishment” that “goes to the quality of life we are able to enjoy in the city.” Women in New York are pleased with the news, according to the Times, happy never again to face experiences in men’s rooms or outdoors because of the length of a women’s restroom line.

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New York Times 5/27/05; New York Times 5/20/05

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