One of the things that I did not expect to encounter in Israel (including the Westbank) is the genderneutral toilets that they have almost everywhere. The toilets are found in one single room with two or more doors, available for all alike. There are no women toilets or men toilets and no one seems to bother – which is usually the case when you live somewhere… it is just a matter of being used to a situation.
In Europe, Sweden was presented as the first country where they abolish toilets designed for men and women, but they are not the first, this approach can already be found in Israel. In my recent training for the building company in Jordan, we discussed the influence of measures for toilets in buildings on working life. The participants in the training brought up that in the United States, they are now adding transgender toilets to toilets for men and women. The participants follow this kind of developments because of course it has consequences for the work they do, especially the architectural side. But the solution in Israel and the Westbank is more easy: nobody needs to go to a specific transgender toilet. The whole toilet-thing is genderneutral 🙂
However, I did miss a bit the privacy of a toilet for women only here. Especially that the week I was in Israel, was what I use to call the ‘wrong week of the month’ for me. That comes with some discomforting and sometimes complicating actions. I am not someone without shame so sharing the toilets with ‘all’ did not make my life more easy. But I learned to live with it…
Other blogs you might be interested in:
Recycling plastic: the Amsterdam or the Tel Aviv way?
Security is your friend in Tel Aviv
Sderot: 15 seconds to run for your life
Ramallah: Jews removing Christians from Middle East