Campaign During Pride Month 2022: Gender-Neutral Bathrooms #AllGenderUniBonn

In June 2022, the Gender Equality Office and the AStA Queer Department launched a campaign temporarily re-classifying selected bathrooms at the University of Bonn as “all-gender” bathrooms. The project was intended to draw attention to the need for a gender equality and diversity policy that reflects the existence of more than two genders.

About the Campaign 

Gender diversity is a social reality. Universities have a responsibility to create conditions which enable their members and staff to work, research and study without suffering discrimination. Against this background, there is work to be done in many areas, including using inclusive language, respecting others’ preferred pronouns, making it possible for people to change their name and gender on their University-related documents, and adapting the infrastructure of buildings on campus. Thus, for example, the installation of unisex bathrooms is under consideration in the context of the ongoing renovations and construction work at the University of Bonn.

June is International Pride Month. The Gender Equality Office and the AStA Queer Department seized this opportunity for a collaborative project. During the campaign week (20th to 24th June, 2022), and with your participation, we tried to re-classify suitable bathrooms in as many University buildings as possible.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Toilet image: Freeiconspng

Unisex bathrooms (also known as all-gender bathrooms) make it possible for people of all genders to use the bathroom without experiencing discrimination. They should be available in sufficient numbers and meet the needs of diverse groups of people. Toilets which are not for the exclusive use of men or women help to reduce discrimination, to affirm self-determination in issues of gender identity and to foster the acceptance of gender diversity in society. The re-classification of selected toilets during the campaign week is meant to draw attention to this subject. 

General Information

Article 3 (3) of the Basic Law states that no one may be disadvantaged or favored on the grounds of sex/gender. The installation of unisex bathrooms, accessible to all persons regardless of their gender identity, is a positive measure in accordance with § 5 of the German Anti-Discrimination Act (AGG), and seeks to reduce gender-based discrimination.

The function of a toilet is in itself gender-neutral: all people need to use one. Nevertheless, the majority of public restrooms are designated exclusively for either men or women. This situation can cause great problems for trans, intersex and non-binary people, as well as cisgender (non-transgender) people whose appearance does not conform to conventional binary gender norms. It also often results in situations of discrimination and exclusion, as transgender and non-binary people in particular are often victims of verbal and physical abuse in public bathrooms.

There are more than two genders – if toilets are divided into a binary, non-binary and intersex people are excluded! 

© Gleichstellungsbüro

The Campaign Week: How does a binary toilet become an all-gender toilet?

1. Print out the door signs and posters provided below.

2. Find out how many toilets are available in your building/on your floor.

3. Ideally, one binary pair – that is, one bathroom designated for men and one for women – should be re-classified in each building. Please make sure to re-classify the same number of bathrooms for each binary gender, but not all available bathrooms in a building.

4. Single-user bathrooms where the area containing the sink can also be locked from the inside (or sink and toilet are in the same room) are especially well-suited for the campaign. This does not mean wheelchair-accessible toilets. These are explicitly excluded from the campaign.

5. The door signs (see below for a printout) should be applied to the door at the entrance to the bathroom.

6. The poster can be placed in adjacent locations, such as in the room containing the sinks or on the inside doors of individual cubicles.

7. And finally: take a picture and share it on Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #AllGenderUniBonn and tagging us @gleichstellung.uni.bonn (IG) or @gleich_unibonn (Twitter)!

Do you want to establish a unisex bathroom in your department?

Here you can find material and resources you can use to set up a unisex bathroom:

Signs unisex toilets (PDF) without logos

Toilet door sign German

Toilet door sign English

Checklists (German)

The checklist is designed to help you set up a unisex bathroom. It contains tips on what the bathroom should contain, as well as information on whom you must inform within the University. 

Checklist Single-User Bathroom 

Checklist Multi-User Bathroom

Campaign Material #AllGenderUniBonn

Signs Unisex Toilets (PDF)
Toilettenschild Deutsch
Toilettenschild Englisch

Poster (PDF)
Poster (German)
Poster (English)

Slide for infoscreens
Infoscreen (PDF)


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