A recent conference of NSW councils in Sydney stirred debate after it passed a contentious motion by Parramatta Council, requiring all new toilets and change rooms in NSW parks and playing fields to be designated as “gender neutral.”
The Women’s Forum, an advocacy group, expressed apprehension at the move, pointing out the potential risks for women and children.
They argued that Parramatta, with its diverse ethnic community, includes groups that prohibit the sharing of private spaces between men and women.
Stephanie Bastiaan from the Women’s Forum asserted:
“The removal of single-sex spaces would exclude members from those communities from using the facilities at all.”
Responding to the concerns, a City of Parramatta spokesman clarified that the move towards gender-neutral facilities aimed at providing adequate amenities for women’s sports.
He claimed that the facilities would be available for use by either male or female sporting teams without operating as shared spaces.