International Women’s Day (IWD) happens globally every year on March 8th and celebrates “the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women”. More specifically, it is said to be a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Every year, various speakers take a stance on the subject, sharing experiences, demonstrating innovations, shedding light on unacceptable situations, and inducing positive changes.

A theme usually guides this day, and this year’s theme resonates to us. Inspire Inclusion has been selected for the year 2024 with the idea to “inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion” and to “inspire women to be included”.

How relevant is it for madamePee

madamePee has a strong attachment to this day as it empowers the women its urinals are designed for. In the big picture of reaching gender parity, we at madamePee make our contribution towards potty parity. Equality in access to sanitary facilities. Around the world, women are not equal to men when it comes to using the toilet.

  • Lack of safety, 1 in 3 women don’t have access to a safe toilet.
  • Lack of hygiene, women need clean toilets especially during the menstrual
  • Lack of facilities, women suffer longer waiting lines at toilets.

In the face of these obstacles, women have adopted compensatory behaviors. Risking their lives to go to the bathrooms, they’re often forced to find whatever place they deem suitable for their hygiene break. Putting them in uncomfortable situations. Against queues, girls were taught from a young age to use the bathroom whenever they can, in case they can’t find one later, or worse, to hold back until decent toilets were found. Establishing a completely unbalanced relationship with this place of hygiene and above all completely opposed to the education received by boys on the same subject.

Toilets are a representation of women’s place in society, and from where we stand, the place is on the sideline, if available.

With that in mind, madamePee created 5 years ago a urinal for women to be positioned outdoors wherever its needed. Quick, this urinal offers a faster option than regular toilets and divides flows between facilities as male urinals have done for men for decades. Hygienic, the urinal can be used without having to touch anything, a request as most women do not wish to sit on the toilet bowl when outside their houses. Intimate, it provides a safe space for women to use the commodities. Eco-friendly, water was left out of the equation of the urinal, does not require any flush and drains everything by gravity. An innovation designed by women and for women.

Since then, we never stopped to try and raise awareness for a more inclusive world for women when it comes to sanitation. We work so that people, event organizers, schools, cities, any place open to the public build their toilets areas with women in mind.

Acknowledge the problem

IWD website asks the question “if not, why not?”, and its exactly what we asked ourselves as male urinals were common facilities, and yet no one had thought of a quick way for women to relieve an urgent need. People often argue that female urinals would already been a thing if they’re really meant to be useful. And yet, every time we’re at a festival, feedback from the users tells us that they’re a total no-brainer. Evidence.

Above all, it’s the smile on women’s face when they realize they too have a dedicated sanitary facility, a urinal. They often tell us, “Thank you for thinking of us”. 

Change the status quo

It’s one thing to understand the unbalanced situation in toilets between men and women. It’s another thing to act against it.

When it comes to toilets, they are often described as some of the biggest pain points during big events, during concerts, in stadium, in bars, and so on. We came to accept the situation as it, breaking the status quo would mean reversing the trend. It would mean taking a stand against it. Turning bad habits into acceptable situations:

– Girls take bad habits as they are taught to hold back or pee “just in case”, teach them to stand for their needs and to ask for more facilities

– Toilets are seen as unsafe in the public spaces or during festivals, let’s make women’s safety a priority

– Women are disadvantaged in certain career choices due to lack of toilets and regulations, offer them decent sanitary solutions and equal to men’s especially in construction sites

– Elderly people are being isolated and avoid going out by fear of being able to find public toilets, build cities with people in mind, and include women in the process.

To change the status quo, embark women in the process. 

Change towards potty parity can only happen if women take part in the process. In a situation that penalizes them, they are the key to bring light over the problem, to create change and to ask for it to go faster.  

IWD theme explains it well, “When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. »

madamePee works on forging a better world for women, through the sanitary facilities. We can only change what is requested and it takes women to stop indulging in the current toilet situation. You can help us amplify our action by following our social media accounts, on Instagram but also linkedin and tiktok. As we try to shed light on women asking for change.

madamePee urinals