The Preequal was created by Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane. It is not only safer, more hygienic but also six times more efficient in saving time for women.
Accessibility to clean toilets is a huge problem for women all around the world, including the UK. This problem was especially stark at music festivals and two university students could not help but notice the snaking queues leading up to the women's toilet. Having graduated in 2020, Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane worked their summer at musical festivals where they were tired of waiting in line for their turn to use the toilet. They were forced to choose between losing their spot in line or getting food during their breaks. Now the post-grad students decided to tackle this problem as part of their master's project.
As part of their research for the project, the two women found out that women queue up to 34 times longer than men because there are 10 male urinals for every women’s public toilet, reported Metro. They also found that nearly 80 percent of women did not actually sit on the toilet but ended up hovering in a squat over the toilet seat to avoid picking up infections at these public toilets. So when they were asked to solve a real-life problem as part of their maters project, it was a no-brainer. That is how they came to create The Peequal, UK's first urinal for women.
Hazel and Amber came up with the idea for their female urinal while studying with us and have just won £15,000 from @UoBrisCareers to develop it further! Learn more here: https://t.co/AcfEQTh2CC#business #Businesswoman #Entrepreneur #enterprise pic.twitter.com/iCpSeocZiB— Bristol Uni news & coverage (@BristolUniMedia) June 8, 2021
The Peequal is a colorful unit that is not only safer, more hygienic, but also six times more efficient in terms of the time it saves for women. "Toilet queues are wasting hours of women's lives. Imagine what women could do with all that extra time?" the website asks. It goes on to state: "Our design is 6x more efficient than a lockable toilet, giving women everywhere equal access to the loo, safely." It also provides a touch-free toilet experience and is also in an open-air setting. This is especially important for times like the current pandemic.
"We see a future of a more equal society, where everyone's time is important and no one queues for the loo," the creators said. "Our mission is to provide events with women’s urinals that increase queue efficiency whilst protecting women and the planet." The material used for the toilet units are all fully recyclable and has an average lifespan of eight years. It is also efficient and versatile. "The wedge is the building block for all other configurations. Either as a circle or straight-line where it can go on forever and ever," the website states. The individual parts can be dismantled and packed efficiently as well. "Using Reading festival as an example (capacity 105,000) we would save them 70 articulated lorries," the creators say.
"It's actually an adaptation of a hole in the ground toilet but it's what we call the pedestal," McShane explained to BBC. "It's designed like a boat to minimize splashback and also to have a little place for your clothing in front." Probyn added, "We realize this is a shift in behavior but it's a more efficient way of doing things. At the start of the day, you might look at this woman's urinal and be like 'I'm not sure about that,' but after a few bevs, and after you've waited in the queue for about 15 minutes already - this option suddenly becomes much more appealing."
While some people welcomed the idea of the urinal, not everyone thought it was a good idea. One Twitter user wrote: "There are so many things wrong with this....the lack of doors and locks, no bins, squatting design (only suitable for the young, fit and abled), can only pee (no periods or poop). Queues for women's toilets aren't only caused by a lack of cubicles, but because on average women do more than just pee in toilets, unlike men. Women also have to deal with periods, helping children and elderly relatives, clothing that's more difficult to remove, mobility issues, incontinence, and similar health issues. A very male urinal will not solve these issues."
Wonderful. I’ve always wanted a public toilet with no door so that anyone can pop their head round and watch me go to the loo. How the hell is this innovative? Would it take up any more space if each toilet had a lockable door? https://t.co/yDbLEYxbYn— AcademicsAnonymous (@anonacademic_uk) June 9, 2021
Um, no doors? Not a good idea. At least when men use a urinal, they are generally facing away from the door.— Penguin Fanatic 🐧🌈 (@penguinsrule27) June 8, 2021
And what would the difference be between a toilet and a "women's urinal"?