Women in Berlin will soon have the right to swim topless in the city’s public pools. The change in rule came after a woman filed a complaint stating that she wasn’t treated equally to men while swimming. The woman stressed that the same rights should be afforded to her as her male counterparts, allowing her to go topless in public swimming pools. The complaint was upheld by the senate’s ombudsperson’s office, who deemed it a case of discrimination.
Previously, women who swam topless at public pools were asked to cover up or were banned from the establishment. The Berliner Baederbetriebe, which runs the city’s public pools, have now changed the rules surrounding what is acceptable attire for swimming, in light of the ombudsman’s decision. Doris Liebscher, the head of the ombudsman’s office, welcomed the ruling and emphasised that her office advocated for equal rights, irrespective of gender or sexual identity. She added that the ruling allowed for legal certainty among staff.
It is unclear when the new rule will take effect. This is not the first time that Berlin has taken a progressive stance on women’s rights. In 2015, a Berlin court ruled that local authorities should acknowledge the issue of women’s rights by providing public toilets for women. The ruling came after a woman complained to authorities about the long queues for public toilets, typically owing to there being significantly fewer toilets for women than for men. It is hoped that the latest ruling will be another step in the right direction in terms of gender equality.
Female nudity has been a topic of debate for many years, with many people arguing that it disproportionately affects women in terms of exploitation and objectification. There has also been a backlash against what is seen as oversexualisation of women, especially through advertising campaigns. In some countries, including Germany, social media platforms have taken a hardline stance against the posting of any images of nudity, even those that are not sexual. However, in 2019, German lawmakers ruled that naked children could legally appear in photos, as long as it was not seen as pornographic.