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China’s biggest metropolis Shanghai will build more restrooms for women in public places to closely match the numbers of male toilets, which are in higher numbers.

Toilets at public transportation hubs, cultural and shopping centres, commercial streets, scenic spots, parks, and cinemas will follow the standard that is being revised and will be put into use this year, Zhang Feng, Director of the Shanghai City Appearance and Environmental Quality Monitoring Centre said.

Shanghai, a city of 24 million, nearly three times that of New York City, has more than 8,700 public toilets, including those on the street, in public venues and in rural areas.

"The toilets in public venues outperformed the other two types in the ratio of facilities for the two genders but still stands at 1-to-1.19. It’s obvious that women have to queue up in front of the restrooms on many occasions." 

Zhang made the remarks during a media briefing when the Shanghai Municipal Women and Children Committee published a report on the ratio of men’s and women’s restrooms in public places.

The report showed that at some places, the ratio of the facilities in the city fails to meet current standards, which were laid down in 2007.

For example, more than 70 pe rcent of the restrooms in metro stations fail to reach the stipulated ratio of 1-to-1.5, state-run China Daily reported.

It quoted more than 40 per cent of the women respondents in the survey as saying they often find the toilets are fully occupied when entering a public restroom, and nearly two-thirds of them said they have to wait between one to five minutes before their turn.

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