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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Berlin. Women can swim topless in the pools. There is a decision of the authorities

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Berlin authorities decided on Thursday that from now on, everyone, not just men, can swim topless in public swimming pools in the city. However, there is still an order to cover the genitals. The decision was made after a complaint was made by a 33-year-old woman who accused the staff of one of the swimming pools of discrimination. The Ombudsman intervened in the case.

In December, a 33-year-old woman was asked by the staff of a swimming pool in Berlin to cover her breasts. When she refused, she was ordered to leave the facility.

An embittered 33-year-old complained to the Ombudsman, claiming that the ban on topless bathing, which applies only to women, is discriminatory. In the letter, she pointed out that the bathing and swimming pool regulations do not contain gender provisions, but only recommend the wearing of “commercial swimwear”. Citing the state’s anti-discrimination law, she demanded that everyone, regardless of gender, be guaranteed the right to use bare-chested public swimming pools.

Decision of the Berlin authorities

After the Ombudsman’s intervention, the Berlin Office for Justice and Anti-Discrimination admitted that the woman had been a victim of discrimination.

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The city authorities issued an ordinance on Thursday obliging the Berlin public swimming pool operator (BBB) ​​to treat all bathing visitors equally in terms of clothing. According to the decision of officials, the right to swim topless in Berlin swimming pools will now be granted not only to men, but also to “women and people with female breasts”.

The decision was welcomed by supporters of the so-called Freikörperkultur, i.e. popular in Germany culture of the free body, pointing to the positive health aspects of nudity in communing with nature. It is often identified with naturism and nudism.

The Berlin authorities have decided that everyone can swim topless in public swimming pools in the cityShutterstock

Equal rights for all Berliners

The administrator of Berlin’s swimming pools (Berliner Bäderbetriebe) released a statement on the matter, stressing that the rules of public swimming pools in the city have never prohibited women from bathing topless. The BBB clarified that the regulations only mention the obligation to cover the genitals, which applies to everyone, regardless of gender.

According to the German daily Tagesspiegel, the head of the Ombudsman’s office, Doris Liebscherv, welcomed these explanations. At the same time, she noted that “so far, however, it has been interpreted and enforced in different ways.” She added that Thursday’s decision by the Berlin authorities “grants equal rights to all Berliners, whether they are men, women or non-binary people.”

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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