What’s Current: Women to protest lack of public female toilets in Amsterdam

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news round up.

  • Amsterdam’s has 35 public urinals for men but only three public toilets for women. Recently, a woman who was fined for public urination was scolded by a judge who said that, despite the lack of toilets available for women, she should have made use of the facilities made available to men. Women are planning to protest the lack of female toilets on Friday.
  • Google and other Silicon Valley companies oppose an amendment to the Communications Decency Act that would create new liability for Internet firms that “knowingly facilitate sex trafficking.” The Washington Post reports:

“The bill emerged from the Senate investigation of the online classified ad service Backpage, which found that Backpage was editing ads to remove shocking terms but leaving the ads online, and a series of court rulings which held Backpage blameless for the sex trafficking of underage girls in its ‘Adult Services’ section.”

  • A UK survey shows that 51 per cent of young women are using credit cards, overdraft and payday loans to stretch their finances until payday. The chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust, who commissioned the survey, told The Guardian:

“Young women are more likely to be stuck on low pay and on zero-hours contracts, which mean they don’t know how many hours they will work each month and whether they will earn enough to pay their bills. It can be particularly hard for young mums; in many cases, low pay means an hour’s childcare can cost more than an hour’s wages. As a result, many are failing to make ends meet and are falling into debt.”

  • Susan Butlin, a Nova Scotia woman was murdered earlier this week. Her neighbour Ernie (Junior) Ross Duggan has been charged. Butlin had filed three complaints against Duggan with the RCMP in the two months preceding her murder. Duggan was never arrested. He was under investigation for sexual assault and vandalism and had been recently ordered by a judge not to contact Butlin.
Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • Alienigena

    Re: lack of access to public toilets in Amsterdam

    I was just complaining about the lack of public washrooms in Canada to a work colleague. I don’t think you are a very compassionate society if you can’t even provide public washrooms. One should not have to go into a store or fast food restaurant to use their facilities and then pay for an item they don’t want or need. There is a humourous article in CBC’s entertainment section about a woman buying a $30,000 truck just so that she can use the dealership’s washroom.


    I don’t know how the judge in the news story expected the woman to use the urinal. A woman has to disrobe from the waist down to urinate and squat (over the urinal), men just have to unzip. Is it even safe, for a woman to be half naked, alone amongst a bunch of men, especially at night?

  • Omzig Online

    Maybe this is slightly off-topic, but I noticed in the photo above that all of those men are pissing into a urinal with no hand hygiene facility in sight. No hand sinks, no hand sanitizer, nothing. They’re handing their dicks in public, and then failing to wash their hands. Looks like Amsterdam has some serious public health problems to deal with, in addition to their obvious sex discrimination issues.

    • Marieke Bos

      I don’t think it would make a difference if there were hand sinks though. Lots of men don’t wash their hands afterwards.

  • susannunes

    If I ever go back to Europe, I will know what city to avoid. This is just gross.