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Gleichstellung an der Viadrina

Unisex WCs at Viadrina

The university is proud to announce the introduction of unisex toilets on the campus. The unisex WCs can be used by anyone, regardless of gender, and are available in addition to the separate toilets for men and women.

From an early age, we learn which toilets we are supposed to use – either the “ladies” or the “gents”. But what about those people who are not clearly identified as being either a woman or a man? What about those who somehow seem to be “in between”?  What about those who do not (yet) quite seem to be female? And what about those who identify themselves neither as a woman nor as a man? Which toilets do they use?

Those concerned frequently have to deal with strange looks or indignantly being asked “What do you think you’re doing here?” Many are taken to task or asked to leave a toilet where they seem to be out of place because of their appearance. Such situations are unpleasant for those who are affected as they feel obliged to justify themselves and mention intimate personal matters in public. This can also result in them trying to avoid using public toilets wherever possible. This is particularly true of trans* or inter* people.

Yet this is a problem that can easily be avoided. Without realizing it, we already often use toilets that are unisex even though they are not designated as such. What about the WCs on trains or aeroplanes, WCs in small buildings where there isn’t enough space for several toilets? Not to mention the WCs in private houses or flats. So why not have unisex toilets in public buildings as well?

The redesignated toilets can now be used by more people than before – no-one is being “deprived” of “their” toilet. Those who do not wish to use a unisex WC may continue to visit the separate “ladies” and “gents” as these will still be available.

This measure is just one step towards a more inclusive and discrimination-free university.

The unisex WCs are located in the following buildings:

  • Main building (HG): Ground floor – toilets next to the lockers in front of the library
  • Audimax building (AM): 2nd floor – toilet next to the lift
  • Gräfin Dönhoff building (GD): Ground floor – accessible toilet with baby changing unit
  • August Bebel Str. (AB): 1st floor – accessible toilet with baby changing unit
  • Logenhaus (LH): Basement  – accessible toilet
  • Collegium Polonicum (CP) – Ground floor between Room 17 and Room 18
  • CP Library – 3rd floor

Two of the unisex toilets also have a baby changing unit (GD and AB) and three of the toilets are accessible (i.e. suitable for wheelchair users) (GD, AB, LH).

The unisex toilets may be used by all university students and staff and their guests.