CAAP puts up gender-neutral toilets in airports

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DAVAO CITY  — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has initially opened 15 gender-neutral toilets of the country’s 42 commercial airports.

A gender-neutral public toilets, are also called gender-inclusive, gender neutral and mixed-sex or all-gender toilets. It means a public toilet that are not separated by gender or sex.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, CAAP revealed they already opened gender-neutral restrooms in Iloilo, Bacolod, Roxas, Laoag, Legazpi, Naga, Virac, Busuanga, Laguindingan, Dipolog, Butuan, San Jose, Basco, Marinduque, and Tandag.

Providing a gender-neutral toilets at the airports took place years before a transgender woman cried discrimination at a shopping mall restroom earlier this month which resulted to a public debate about the issue.

The statement added “Constructing gender neutral restrooms is a step towards gender awareness development and protection of the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Gender-neutral restroom in CAAP’s office in Pasay City. (Photo courtesy of CAAP)

 Reports have it, the CAAP allocated P400 million for its Gender and Development (GAD) program, which will include diaper-changing and breastfeeding rooms.

The initiative to provide gender-neutral restrooms in airports started in 2015. “The design would depend per airport, but usually (the restrooms) are designed as a separate building,” the statement added.

Gender-neutral restroom in Tuguegarao Airport (Photo courtesy of CAAP)

Every gender-neutral restroom has four separate rooms: for female, male, persons with disabilities, and gender-neutral.

The idea of establishing a gender-neutral restrooms came after LBBTQ attendees of a CAAP-organized gender sensitivity forum shared feeling of discrimination whenever they use restrooms.

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