Social media users were enraged after Democratic Alliance (DA) Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela proposed for unisex bathrooms to be built at Cape Town International airport.
In a Facebook post, Madikizela wrote that he disagrees that people should be searched by same-sex officers at the airport, and also proposed that male and female bathrooms should be gotten rid of completely to accommodate for the LGBTQI+ community.
His comment has caused quite a stir, with many responding negatively and referencing the country’s high rape statistics as the reasoning against this proposal.
Sifiso Eric Mathonsi wrote, “In a country full of sex offenders, predators and pedophiles u r proposing a haven an ideal situation for them. wow!”
Inam Qoma agreed, writing, “Optional unisex toilets 🙋🏾♀️ because as South African females we still fear being killed by the South African male, because #MenAreTrash and with all the GBV going on. We’d like the option of feeling less threatened. Same goes for the being searched by a female instead of a male. If being handled by a male triggers GBV anxieties then I’d like the option of being searched by a female.”
Many businesses and public facilities such as the University of Cape Town have created gender-neutral bathrooms in addition to gender-divided bathrooms in an effort to be more inclusive of the LGBTQI+ community.