Women have won the right to go topless at public swimming pools in one of Europe's biggest cities.
Berlin’s state government has passed new bathing rules that will allow everyone to go swimming without covering their chest, AP reports.
The decision was made after a woman complained about discrimination after being barred from going topless at a local swimming pool. While a second was told to cover up while at an indoor pool in December, BBC reports.
The first woman turned to the senate’s ombudsperson’s office for equal treatment, the Berlin senate for justice, diversity and anti-discrimination said in a statement. This prompted the Berliner Baederbetriebe, which runs the city’s public pools, to change its clothing rules.
“The ombudsman’s office very much welcomes the decision of the Baeederbetriebe because it establishes equal rights for all Berliners, whether male, female or non-binary,” the head of the ombudsperson’s office, Doris Liebscher, said.
Previously, women who bared their breasts at pools in Berlin were either forced to cover themselves up or leave the venue.
“Now it is important that the regulation is applied consistently and that no more expulsions or house bans are issued,” Ms Liebscher said.
Social media users praise move for equality
The decision has been well welcomed by tourists on social media.
“Germany is miles ahead of everybody else,” one person wrote. “Men have been doing it for years so why not?” asked another.
“About time,” someone else added. “Finally!”
“Equality!” a fourth commented.
Germany’s nudist culture
Germany has a well-established culture of embracing nudity with Freikoerperkultur translating to ‘free body culture’.
Based on a non-sexualised view of the body as a source of pride rather than shame or embarrassment, this movement saw nudist baths and beaches grow across the country from the end of the 19th century as a way of connecting people to nature.
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