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Andrés Brink Pinto

Andrés Brink Pinto

Researcher

Andrés Brink Pinto

Public toilets for women : how female municipal councillors expanded the right to the city in Sweden, c. 1910–1925

Author

  • Malin Arvidsson
  • Andrés Brink Pinto

Summary, in Swedish

This article shows that women’s formal political citizenship is intertwined with the right to the city. Using Carol Bacchi’s ‘What’s the Problem Represented to be’ approach, we study how female municipal councillors argued for more public toilets in Sweden's three largest cities. In their motions, the lack of public conveniences was mainly related to a binary discourse of gender, and arguments referring to biological needs of the female body and women as mothers proved more successful than the argument that uneven access to public toilets was an example of gender inequality. Class-based arguments against fees were largely ignored when the motions were transformed from potentially contentious political issues into technical issues of urban planning and municipal utilities. However, the material effects of the policies—public toilets placed mainly in working-class areas—led to an extension of possible radiuses of movement within the city for women, and perhaps especially working-class women.

Department/s

  • History
  • Department of Gender Studies
  • Human Rights Studies

Publishing year

2022-04

Language

English

Pages

476-495

Publication/Series

Women's History Review

Volume

31

Issue

3

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Routledge

Topic

  • History
  • Gender Studies

Keywords

  • Right to the city
  • Female political citizenship
  • Urban history
  • Labour history
  • Public toilet provision

Status

Published

Project

  • De Stenbergska villorna – kvinnors rätt till det offentliga rummet i Malmö kring sekelskiftet 1900

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0961-2025