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  • Diaper-Changing Tables in Men's Restrooms: Yay or Nay?

    U.S. now has a law that requires government buildings to provide diaper changing tables in men’s restrooms. We asked Filipino dads if they want a similar law here, too.
    by Rachel Perez .
Diaper-Changing Tables in Men's Restrooms: Yay or Nay?
PHOTO BY sheknows.com
  • A new study found that moms are more stressed than dads, and one of the reasons is moms do more child care duties than their partners. It's not always because the dads don't think it's their job (we'd like to think dads are more involved in parenting these days ). It's just that we don't think dads get the opportunities that moms have when it comes to baby care duties. One example: diaper-changing tables in bathrooms. Haven't you noticed it's always in women's restrooms? 

    Last year, Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, who is expecting his second baby with Mila Kunis, was outraged when he realized he couldn't change his daughter Wyatt's diaper in the men's room. According to CNN, it prompted Ashton to do a Change.org petition, to call for changing tables in men's bathrooms in major retail stores. 

    Kutcher wrote that adding changing tables to men's restrooms would be "a tiny step in the long process of rectifying the legacy of gender discrimination, but it's a step we need to take. Dads, like myself, want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that."

    Two years ago, Blogger Doyin Richards posted a photo of himself changing his child's nappy on the bathroom floor. "That is basically straight up saying only women change diapers -- men don’t change diapers. That’s just not acceptable in 2014 and beyond. It’s just not,” he told Today.

    It seemed that their country's "dad-in-chief" heard them. U.S. President Barack Obama recently signed into law the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act, a.k.a the BABIES Act. It requires men's and women's restrooms of "publicly accessible federal buildings" to have safe and sanitary diaper changing tables for babies ages 3 and younger. The law was enacted to push government facilities to be more family-friendly, so that  "no mom or dad should ever have to worry about finding a safe, sanitary place to change their baby," according to a report by The Huffington Post.

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    Here in the Philippines, the campaign for establishments to be family-friendly is gaining ground, but no law like the U.S. has. Wouldn't it be such a great idea? So, we asked dads and dads-to-be if they want to have a similar legislation here, and here's what they had to say:

    "Yes, please! But better if they have it in washrooms for the disabled para mas malinis. Some malls have this na. Plus, meron rin dedicated nursing/changing rooms, although in some malls men are not allowed in such rooms." -- Nic Chua, dad of two

    "I'm all for having breastfeeding stations for moms and babies, so I think it's a good idea to also have changing tables for men. It follows that if you're giving moms that right, dapat dads din should be given that right, too." -- Lando Cruz, accountant and dad of three

    "Mommies naman usually ang nagpapalit ng diaper but I guess okay lang. Baka hindi masyado magamit though. Or sana payag asawa ko na ako magpalit ng diaper. Minsan mas gusto ng nanay na sila gumawa nun." -- Dino Legaspi, logistics officer and dad to Rowan, 5

    "If cleanliness is the issue, then management should ensure that cleanliness is maintained. I want that in all kinds of CRs -- male, female, person with disability (PWD). Doing this would allow dads/males to do the task especially if they are single dads or if they are alone with their baby at that particular time. " -- Chris Castillo, dad to a preschool girl

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    "I definitely agree with a legislation like this. I'm a hands-on dad from the get-go, and I gladly change my son's nappies when we're out and about." -- Keefe Juan, dad to Kaleb, 5.

    "If wala akong choice, like hindi ko kasama si misis, then mas okay, I guess na may ganito for men. Medyo awkward lang siguro. Or baka sa akin lang kasi babae ang anak ko." -- Paul Rey, dad to a nine-year-old girl.

    "This should have been a law from way back. Paano makakatulong ang mga lalaki sa mga asawa nila kung walang changing station sa men's room, di ba? I have two very young kids, and my wife has to take two trips to the women's comfort room to change their diapers." -- Patrick Garcia, dad of two.

    "Mas okay pa rin family rooms, madumi CR ng mga lalaki," -- V.V., physician and dad of one.

    "Parang hindi naman gaanong kailangan. I think the law should be on having accessible diaper changing tables for all. There should be a designated area or space na kahit hindi room or sa restroom, basta pwede kahit sino sa parents or even grandparents who may need help changing their grandchild’s diaper. If accessible to all, pwedeng i-assist or samahan." -- Allan Ramos, graphic artist and dad of four 

    Will you support this kind of law here in the country? Tell us in the comments below or via our Facebook.

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