Women around the world will know the frustration of standing in seemingly interminable lines for the restroom, while watching men waltz in and out of urinals with no wait.
The Hong Kong Toilet Association says it has a solution to this age-old problem. It is calling for female urinals to be built in the city's public toilets.
The association says such facilities would cut peeing time to just 90 seconds, compared with the usual two to three minutes, and help to shorten lines outside women's washrooms.
Urinals would also take up only half the space of a full cubicle, the group said, adding that the facilities could include disposable paper urine funnels to help women aim accurately. They could also include shelves for bags to be hung.
"It is much more feasible to install additional female urinals than to build new cubicles, especially in smaller and older public toilets," said the group's vice-president Henry Hung Chi Kuen, who has a 40-year career in plumbing engineering.
This week, the association called a press conference and demonstrated paper funnels for use with female urinals.
However, the group is facing a major obstacle: a lack of interest by universities to design a prototype for the facility. It's also struggling to find organizations willing to conduct a pilot test of female urinals in Hong Kong.
In Germany and France, female urinals are available in temporary lavatories at events such as music festivals, but not in permanent facilities, the association said. Its proposed design differs from the one currently used at some music festivals.
The association's recommendation came a week after Hong Kong's Audit Commission released a report saying the city's public toilets fell short of government's guidelines intended to ensure that for every public toilet compartment for men, there should be two for women.
The ratio was instead found to be 1 to 1.3.
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