Chinese swimming pool makes waves with women-only lane

Both sexes can swim in all the other lanes, but men and boys are barred from the area set aside for females

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2018, 5:28pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 June, 2018, 11:13am

The managers of a swimming pool in southern China have stirred a debate on gender equality by setting aside one lane exclusively for women.

The restriction was enforced at a pool in Guangzhou in Guangdong province, the Southern Metropolis News reported.

Both sexes can swim in all the other lanes, but men and boys are barred from the area set aside for females, the report said.

Women using the pool have largely praised the move.

“I like the arrangement. Women swimmers can swim in women’s lanes, but those who swim well can go to general lanes,” one woman said.

A manager at the pool said the arrangement was made after complaints from some women.

“Some female customers were struck by fast-swimming males,” said Huang Jiarun. “Some shy female customers dare not come down to the pool when it gets crowded.”

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The arrangement was also praised by some male swimmers who said they could now swim faster, but it has fuelled a public discussion over the fairness of the move.

One person said the pool should also have a separate lane for men if they wanted to swim very fast.

Another commented that it was divisive to give women different treatment from men.

“It’s creating barriers. Will it make women in general lanes any safer in case of sexual harassment?” the person asked.