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Department Human Resource Development, Gender & Diversity Management
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All-Gender Restrooms at the JKU.

Did you know that at the JKU almost 900 people depend on gender-neutral restrooms?1

You probably landed on this page because you encountered a (temporarily) converted restroom on campus. As part of Diversity Month, restricted restroom accessibility based on gender will be lifted at close to 40 restroom facilities located at the JKU.

Free to Pee! From Augustin, Issue No. 505, 6.5.-19.5. 2020

You'll find a 'requirement match-up' instead! When it comes to which restroom to use, gender is not the deciding factor, but rather - depending on your needs - you can decide for yourself as to which restroom you wish to use! In this regard, the conventional signs have been replaced by signs depicting available facilities.

 

In an effort to make this newly created 'meeting and communal' space as comfortable and welcoming for everyone, we are providing the required background information here.

What Does Having Gender-Neutral Restrooms Mean?

For 3.3% of the population: It means everything.


For the rest: It means little to no difference.

Just imagine: you need to use the restroom but you have no idea where to go really. And it’s not due to a lack of available facilities, or because you don’t have a 50-cent coin on you to pay the restroom fee. No, you are working or studying at a university and these spaces are there. But they are there in a way does not include you.

 

As living, breathing beings, we depend on food and water, both of which have to eventually exit the body at some point.


When it comes to meeting your everyday needs, you probably don't even think about not having clearly assigned spaces for your gender. And this is normal for you. It's also probably normal that you have never even really thought about what not having these assigned spaces would feel like. There are people who do not have this luxury. To them, going to the restroom is less of a basic right and more of a privilege, maybe even impossible! In an effort to avoid negative, discriminating encounters when in a public restroom and experiencing threats and abuse, they refrain from eating and drinking. We now find ourself in the 21st century and it is high time for all bodies to be part of public life! This is why the JKU is now providing Space for Everyone.

 

 

Gender-neutral restrooms provide worry-free access to wet rooms, regardless of how people look. As converted restrooms are located in areas on campus where people are used to having designated male/female restrooms, we have put together some pointers and guidelines:

 

  1. A toilet is a toilet is a toilet.
  2. We all need one and we all use one.
  3. Our understanding of gender-neutral restrooms is that this is a space that supports acceptance and coming together beyond social sanctioning.
  4. These restrooms serve as manifested spaces of inclusion and provide places of privacy and retreat.
  5. Gender-neutral restrooms are open to everyone..
  6. When in this space, gender identity and gender expression do not matter.
  7. To create this space, we all have to cooperate.
  8. This is how we work together to create humane, inclusive spaces for everyone.

A Ruling Rendered by the Austrian Constitutional Court G77/2018-9

On June 15, 2018, the Constitutional Court issued a ruling recognizing a legal mandate to include a "third option" on both birth certificates and in the civil register. In order to acknowledge and accommodate the existing gender diversity, all public institutions are now legally required to adapt their premises accordingly .

The Ruling Rendered by the Constitutional Court, opens an external URL in a new window

 

Resolutions of the European Council

The Council of Europe adopted Resolutions 2048 (2015) and 2191 (2017), recognizing people's life realities outside the binary of standard society.

 

Resolution 2048:

Discrimination against Transgender Individuals in Europe, opens an external URL in a new window.

Resolution 2191:

Supporting the Human Rights of - and Eliminating - Discrimination Against Intersex People, opens an external URL in a new window.

 

 

40 restroom facilities are actually only less than one-third of all of the total available facilities, meaning that most of the restrooms on campus remain the same and available for use as always; a conventionally designated restroom will generally be available close by.

Space for Your Comments

The Gender and Diversity Management team have put together a short, online questionnaire addressing gender-neutral restrooms. Please take part and help us to better understand the general sentiment on campus. We look forward to your comments and your feedback!

 

The survey link will be available here soon.

 

1 The figure mentioned at the beginning is based on the fact that approximately 3.3% of the population is intersex, or transgender, and/or identifies outside of the rigid two-gender system of 'male' and 'female'. Here at the JKU, we have over 23,000 students and 3,800 employees and this fact is now officially recognized (ag-trans-hopo.org, opens an external URL in a new window).

[Translate to Englisch:] WC Piktogramme