Women can now swim and sunbathe topless in public pools in Berlin

Berlin has granted women and non-binary people the same rights as men when it comes to swimming topless in public pools. This decision was made when a female swimmer challenged the existing rules.

Women will now be allowed to swim and sunbathe topless at public pools in Berlin, Germany.

A ban on the practice was challenged on gender equality grounds by a female swimmer.

Authorities said that the move will “establish equal rights for all Berliners whether male, female or non-binary”.

Women will no longer be required to cover their chests and will be able to wear similar attire to their male counterparts.

The city’s equality Ombudsman stated: “Topless swimming should also be possible for female people or for people with female breasts in the future,” as reported by The Telegraph.

Back in December 2022, Lotte Mies, 33, was instructed to cover up when she was swimming topless at an indoor pool in Berlin.

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She told the Bild she was asked which gender she identifies with and when she said she was female she was told she “had to wear a top”.

She reported the incident to Berlin’s equality watchdog, which said it was discriminatory practice to prevent women from going topless if they chose.

The capital’s rules for public pools is that swimming costumes must cover the genitals.

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Berlin’s swimming pool operator, the Berliner Bäderbetriebe, clarified this rule applied to all swimmers regardless of gender.

Doris Liebscher, head of the Ombudsman’s office, commented: “Now it is important that the regulation is applied consistently and that no more expulsions or house bans are issued.”

Katharina Mittler, 25, a sports student from the Mitte area of Berlin, was pleased with the decision to let women and non-binary people go topless.

She called the move a measure of “equal rights” and explained that “we don’t have to be sexualised because we are women”.

But Berlin is not the first to make this move, with Göttingen in Lower Saxony and Siegen in North Rhine Westphalia allowed women to swim topless last summer.

The Crown Prosecution Service states in regard to UK law on nudity: “In the absence of any sexual context and in relation to nudity where the person has no intention to cause alarm or distress it will normally be appropriate to take no action unless members of the public were actually caused harassment, alarm or distress (as opposed to considering the likelihood of this).

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