Female MPs have taken over the men’s toilets in a ‘loo coup’ at the New South Wales Parliament.
Armed only with hair straighteners and hair dryers, 14 women successfully invaded and held the gents’ domain at the state’s legislative hub on Wednesday to highlight what they see as gender inequality when it comes to the loos.
Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, told the ABC “the needs of women have not been factored into the design of this building” and that the men’s facilities include more showers and basins and a full-length mirror.
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Shelley Hancock said she was appalled by what the men’s featured compared to the women’s.
“Certainly the ladies have a case to make, she said.
“The men by comparison have a huge amount of space: bench space, mirror space. It’s unfair.”
The militant women MPs were joined by at least one bloke for the protest, President of the Legislative Council Don Harwin. According to Harwin, though, upgrading the ladies facilities was looked at in 2013 and the up to half-a-million dollar cost was deemed too expensive.
“There have been some more urgent priorities over the last two years,” he suggested.
With the NSW economy on the bounce, maybe now is the time for the revolution?
Some women responded favourably on Twitter, with suggestions of how to pay for the upgrade:
idea – they could pay for womens’ toilets in NSW parliament with an 18% pay deduction for male MPs? #equalpay https://t.co/7OzHgFYhfP
— banks (@banksa_) October 28, 2015
While others questioned the revolutionaries’ priorities and tactics:
Yes more toilets for female MP’s and staff – but armed “with hair dryers and straighteners” ?? Is that what you do? https://t.co/BtwyyAOrxf
— Chris Dubrow (@chrisdubrow) October 28, 2015
I wonder what our mp’s think about 1700 students sharing 8 toilets in Arusha, Tz Loo coup:lack of toilets https://t.co/xnCGUfbcsD via @smh
— Ndoto Afrika (@NdotoAfrika) October 28, 2015