PRIMARK has caused backlash from shoppers by launching its first gender neutral changing rooms.
Although the installation has been praised by equality campaigners, many people have threatened to boycott Primark stores with the facilities.
Primark has installed unisex fitting areas at its giant new store at the Bluewater mall near Gravesend, Kent, and a new store at Hastings, East Sussex.
The shops have no separate male and female areas, and several shoppers say they feel uncomfortable with the arrangement.
A Twitter user said: “Oh my goodness, so @Primark have changing rooms that men and women use.
“I would not be happy to try clothing on my daughters or myself knowing a man is opposite or next door.
Oh my goodness so @Primark have changing rooms that men and women use…I would not be happy to try clothing on my daughters or myself knowing a man is opposite or next door.Just curtains too not even doors!This has put me right off!They will see more returns this way I’m sure!
“Just curtains too not even doors! This has put me right off !They will see more returns this way I’m sure!”
However, some have praised the move and say it helps everyone feel included.
One person wrote: “Omg why don’t we just have people changing rooms, we are all people, get a grip.
“@Primark are doing the right thing, they all have curtains you can’t see anything, also why would you want to, live and let live.”
Primark said it has introduced “non-gendered fitting rooms to improve the customer experience” at the two stores.
Changing rooms at its other 195 shops continue to be separate for men and women.
Omg why don’t we just have people changing rooms, we are all people, get a grip, @Primark are doing the right thing, they all have curtains you can’t see anything, also why would you want to, live and let live ✌🏻
The announcement comes after Topshop unveiled gender neutral changing rooms in 2017.
The move was made after a trans customer claims they were not given permission to access the female cubicles.
A spokesperson for Topshop said at the time: “All Topshop and Topman customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores."
Last month it was revealed by a women’s charity that girls are often “too scared” to use unisex toilets amid fears of "period shaming and sexual harassment".
Women's Voice Wales has expressed concern that separate male and female toilets are increasingly being replaced with unisex toilets in some schools in Wales.
The Department for Education says schools must ensure "separate toilet facilities for boys and girls aged eight years or over are provided", meaning legally, schools cannot replace the facilities entirely with unisex ones.
But Women's Voice Wales believes neither pupils, parents nor school staff have been adequately consulted.
Unisex facilities are on the rise in the UK, with supporters arguing they address concerns of trans and disabled people as well as cutting waiting time for women and girls.
We shared an opinion piece on one writer's views that gender changing rooms aren't safe.
Meanwhile, Santa Claus could get a gender neutral rebrand as part of effort to ‘modernise’ Christmas.
And these parents refuse to tell people if their ‘theyby’ two-year-old is a boy or a girl.
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