• Elise Dottrens

Lapee, the female urinal

“ Have you ever wondered why women are always in queues for the toilets? Because it's a world drawn by men. ” This sentence comes from the beginning of a Ted Talk and illustrates very well the problem we are going to speak about.

We have all been in this situation where we badly need to pee, but we are also in the middle of a festival, a marathon or just in the street. Unlike our dear compatriots, men, we do not have the chance to be able to do so easily, whenever we want, where we want. All this has created a real inequality in gender, indeed, women can sometimes be in danger or unwanted situations. In any case, comparing to men, women struggle a lot more in these situations.

Fortunately, there are people like the heroin of the day, Gina Périer. She is a 25 year old French architect living in Copenhagen, who invented the wonderful concept called Lapee. On the occasion of the Roskilde Festival, with her company, they made forty-eight units and it was a great success. The young entrepreneur confirms the words said during the Ted Talk: " We wanted to create the female version of a product already existing worldwide. I do not think it's so complicated to make a women's urinal. I just think it was something that was designed by men and that they thought only of themselves. ” Gina Périer essentially designed this female urinal so that women can urinate more safely and effectively. It also contributes to gender equality.

The time of use has decreased from 3 minutes to 30 seconds and is described as being 600% more efficient. In such situations, women may be exposed to men and unwanted situations. As a result, this urinal was designed to bring intimacy to its user, but also so that her vision is at the same level as someone who would stand outside.

Each pink clover-shaped unit can accommodate up to three women at a time and put together, the privacy provided to the users can be adjusted. In any case, it is a good step towards gender equality. Personally, I think it's exactly these kinds of small changes that together, will greatly contribute to the BIG change we want to achieve in order to live in harmony!

However, along with the Rowenna team, we cannot help thinking that the color used, pink, tends to perpetuate gender inequalities. The baby clothes sold in stores are still heavily gendered for example, even if it’s gently starting to diversify. After all, we have never seen blue urinals, right? There are lots of non-gendered colors that could have been used, such as white, yellow, orange, green… Yet, we salute the effort to create a urinal for women, which can be very useful especially at festivals or other outdoor events.

by Bruna Monteiro


Based in Lausanne, Switzerland 

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