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According to the 2016 Global Gender Gap Report states that the Philippines is one of the most gender-equal societies in the world. Yet discrimination still exists and is evident which needs a call for increased sensitivity on how the society perceives gender equality.
Gender-specific bathrooms, for numerous people, are intimidating and potentially unsafe. This affects persons with disabilities who need the assistance from an attendant of a different gender who is unable to access facilities. Families, together with their children, report difficulty taking their different-sex children, such as fathers with daughter and mothers with sons, in these bathrooms. Many people are threatened, harassed, assaulted, questioned or charged by authorities in these sex-generated bathrooms. Specifically, members of the gender queer, gender non-conforming, and transgender community struggle with their safety and have concerns depending on how they are perceived in these situations.
Furthermore, the House Bill Number 4982 or An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) states that it is a fundamental right of every person regardless of sex, age, class, status, ethnicity, color, disability, religious and political beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression to be free from any form of discrimination. Consequently, as socially active students of St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina, we would like to support SOGIE bill as we build gender-neutral bathrooms to free anyone from any form of discrimination in these facilities.
A gender-neutral toilet is one which can be used by a person of any gender or gender identity. Simply, it is an all gender bathroom that welcomes all genders, and provides a safer, secured and a more welcoming space for everyone, especially to someone who may be transgender or may not identify with the male or female gender binary in the divided public restrooms provided. Not only have that, gender-neutral bathrooms can potentially transform the perspective of the whole society towards gender equality. Implementing gender-neutral restrooms in public areas like parks, malls, markets, hospitals, and etcetera, provided that there is no discrimination and harassment is really a good start to achieve true gender equality in our communities.
o Growing up without the gender gap (2017, March 17). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from http://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/2017/03/17/gender-equality-cover-story.html
o Gender Neutral Bathrooms (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from http://transwellness.org/resources/educational-materials/gender-neutral-bathrooms/
o What is a gender-neutral bathroom? (2017, March 26). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/05/26/what-is-a-gender-neutral-bathroom/
o What The SOGIE Bill Means For The LGBTQ+ Community (2017, Sept 21). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.fhm.com.ph/news/what-the-sogie-bill-means-for-the-lgbtq-community-a00169-20170921
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