Row over stand-up urinals for women in China university

Efforts by a university in Xian in northwest China to promote stand-up urinals for female students has come up for severe criticism by a section of pupils and their parents. The university says the purpose is to save water.

The Shaanxi Normal University built six such urinals, which it regards as “environmentally-friendly female washrooms” in its Yanta and Chang’an campus last April. But it was opened it for use last week after vetting student opinion.

The move has been criticized in Chinese internet blogs and discussion forums while local media reports suggest that very few female students at the university are using the urinals. Some teachers and student leaders are now involved in popularizing the concept and helping female students to overcome their shyness in using it.

Users of the female urinals are expected to hold a funnel made of stiff paper. The funnels are kept ready for use in one corner of the urinals. There are partitions in the urinals to help users avoid a sense of awkwardness while using it. The partitions are decorated with pink patterns to make the users feel comfortable.