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11/19/2016

World Toilet Day: China’s sets out stall for more female restrooms.

World Toilet Day: China’s sets out stall for more female restrooms
The fourth World Toilet Day falls on Saturday, and this year’s event focuses on how sanitation impacts on people’s livelihoods.

The UN estimates that in many countries, a lack of sanitation creates a five per cent loss in GDP. According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “every dollar invested in water and sanitation leads to four dollars in economic returns.”
“Investing in appropriate toilets is especially important for women and girls,” Ban says, “so that they have private, clean and safe facilities, and are able to manage menstruation or pregnancy safely.”
In China, new measures to increase the number of female restrooms were announced on Thursday.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development pledged to increase the ratio of female to male toilets to 3:2 in the future construction of restrooms. In densely populated areas, the proportion will be 2:1.
The decision came after the ministry’s analysis of 726,000 in-service toilets. The plans will be implemented from the beginning of December so as to relieve the pressure on female facilities in some areas with crowds of people, like tourist attractions and stations where long lines are a frequent sight.
The number of public restrooms in China has steadily increased over recent years. Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics show there were over 124,000 public restrooms across the country as of 2014.
More than 20,000 new public restrooms are under construction at tourist sites across the country, according to the country’s tourism administration. It is estimated that 33,000 toilets will be constructed in the next three years and 24,000 toilets will be retrofitted.
Meanwhile, the environment of restrooms is changing fast. Innovative facilities are springing up across China, and some are so unusual that observers might mistake them for an artistic space. In Beijing, a new type of restroom, called "The 5th Space", opened last year. Users are even able to withdraw money, pay their utility bills and recharge their electric cars.
To mark World Toilet Day, take a look at some innovative public restrooms in China.

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