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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Germany: Aquatic dishabille is permitted in Berlin natatoriums

It’s also gender equality: In Berlin, people of all genders are allowed to be in swimming pools with an open torso. Previously, rules for visiting bathhouses were too vague and women were not allowed anywhere to appear “bare-chested” like men, according to a statement from city officials.

It should be noted that now equal requirements will apply to all visitors to urban swimming pools, and a swimsuit is supposed to be considered an attribute that does not depend on gender differences. Thus, topless swimming will be possible for women and people “with pronounced female breasts”, the Metropolitan Department of Justice announced. The reason for this decision was the complaint of a woman expelled from the Berlin-Kaulsdorf swimming pool, which she sent to the ombudsman’s office of the State Office for Equal Treatment and Against Discrimination.

According to the newspaper “taz”, on December 18, 2020, pool staff in the Berlin district of Kaulsdorf asked the woman to cover her breasts. She was forbidden to remain “topless”, despite the rules of conduct in force in bathhouse complexes. They state that visitors must wear “regular swimwear” (no further clarification).

The discrimination complaint was upheld.

In fact, there are no gender rules when it comes to swimwear. It’s just that when in doubt, staff interpreted the term “regular bathing suit” to mean that women or self-identified women should cover their breasts, they added. Christina Tschenett, spokeswoman for the Berlin-Kaulsdorf swimming pool, told the taz newspaper that an internal instruction had already been issued saying that “bare-chested swimming is equally permitted for all visitors”.

Germany says this:

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