- Ateneo de Davao University introduced “all gender” restrooms in the campus
- The university said it was in order to “increase understanding and respect for all”
- Davao City also currently has an anti-discrimination ordinance in place
The Ateneo de Davao University (ADDu) has officially designated single comfort rooms on its campus that can be used for all genders.
The designation of these “all gender” restrooms is an effort by the university to promote gender sensitivity in the academe, as part of its dialogue with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on campus.
“The dialogue, I pray, shall foster greater insight into and understanding of the LGBT community and the needs of others who interact with it, even as I already initiate certain changes in the management of our physical plant. All single CRs in the Jacinto Campus will now be designated as ‘all gender,’” explained ADDU President Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. in a memo, as previously quoted by the Inquirer.
Tabora also acknowledged the anti-discrimination ordinance currently in place in Davao City, but noted that the move was made in order to “increase understanding and respect for the human needs and sensitivities of all.”
This is not only because Davao City has special legislation proscribing discrimination against the LGBT community, but more so because ADDU is itself positively committed to cultural sensitivity, intercultural dialogue and cultural transformation in favor of a society that is more accepting of diversity, including gender diversity, based on a fundamental recognition of the dignity of all,” Tabora explained.
Meanwhile, LGBT rights advocate Hadji Balajadia welcomed the move made by the university administration, saying that this is a step in sparking a more inclusive environment on campus.
“This gender sensitive initiative of ADDU is born out of reflection of our collective experiences as LGBT in the campus. The academe as such has always been heteronormative and even with the presence of visible and hypervocal LGBT activists in Addu,” Balajadia explained on a Facebook post that was quoted by SunStar.