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Berlin Lawfully “Frees The Nipple” In Public Swimming Pools

Swimming pool bottom
Credit: Steven Lek / Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Berlin is set to become the latest German city to allow women to bathe topless at public swimming pools, as local clothing rules have been changed in response to a discrimination complaint.

The Berlin Senate for Justice, Diversity and Anti-discrimination said in a statement that a woman, whose identity was not revealed, had turned to the ombudsperson’s office for equal treatment to demand that women, like men, can swim topless.

As a result, Berliner Baederbetriebe, which runs the city’s public pools, decided to change its clothing rules.

“The ombudsperson’s office very much welcomes the decision of the Baederbetriebe, because it establishes equal rights for all Berliners, whether male, female or non-binary, and because it also creates legal certainty for the staff at the Baederbetriebe,” commented Doris Liebscher, head of the ombudsperson’s office.

Topless bathing in Germany’s public swimming pools

The discourse on women’s right to bathe topless at Germany’s public pools was famously rekindled in summer 2021, when a French resident of Berlin was removed from a public swimming pool by police after she refused to put on a bra while bathing with her infant son.

The incident had made headlines in both Germany and France.

In 2022, Siegen in North Rhine-Westphalia and Göttingen in Lower Saxony introduced topless swimming in public pools, while Hanover also changed its regulations to require only “primary sex organs” to be covered in pools, according to Euronews.

It was not clear when exactly the new clothing rules will be applied at Berlin’s public pools.

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