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Gender-based discrimination as reflected in the laws of urinary segregation: Comparing facilities in South Africa’s major cities with those in East Coast cities in the United States of America

By Renier Steyn


International treaties, national legislation and local by-laws advocate the equal treatment of people of different genders, but there are still claims of gender-based discrimination. However, indicators of discrimination against women, including employment ratios and differences in income, show that great strides have been made in the recent past. These measures are, however, often biased. In this study a different, more exact and tangible method of detecting and describing discrimination is presented, based on the difference between the number of ablution facilities provided for each gender group in public spaces. Ablution facilities at airports, train stations and shopping centres in four major South African cities (N=128) were inspected. The same was done at six East Coast cities in the United States of America (USA; N=124). Medium to large differences in the respective number of facilities were found (eta2 .05 to .13) in South Africa, with women receiving fewer services than those for men. The same tendency was not found in the USA. These results suggest that, despite the progressive legislation and vigorous affirmative action applied in South Africa, South African women are still being discriminated against on a very concrete, tangible level

Topics: Discrimination, tourism, leisure, ablution facilities, toilets
Publisher: African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure
Year: 2016
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