Women in Barcelona can now legally swim topless in public pools - is it acceptable?

By Rhona Shennan
Friday, 9th August 2019, 4:31 pm
Updated Friday, 9th August 2019, 5:33 pm
The law in Barcelona states that it would be discriminatory to prohibit women from swimming topless (Photo: Shutterstock)
The law in Barcelona states that it would be discriminatory to prohibit women from swimming topless (Photo: Shutterstock)

Authorities in Barcelona have confirmed that women are allowed to swim topless in city-run public pools.

The move came after complaints had come to the Barcelona City Council from protesters saying that forcing women to cover up was against the law.


Campaign group Mugrons Lliures filed a complaint regarding the inconsistencies in rules around topless bathing at certain pools.

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    The complaint sparked an investigation according to the council statement and in a report released at the end of June, they found that several municipal pools had rules that restricted women’s rights in specific areas of the facility.

    As a result of this investigation, the council’s Office for Non-Discrimination (OND) sent a reminder to all spots centres to remind them that equality is granted across the board when it comes to women going topless in the pool. It would be considered discriminatory setting a dress standard based on gender.

    Nothing new

    A spokesperson for Barcelona council told CNN “that there is no written rule that states what people can wear at municipal pools, but discrimination based on gender is prohibited”.

    The spokesperson emphasised that topless bathing isn’t anything new in Barcelona.

    “This is not a new initiative,” the spokesperson said.

    “At most municipal pools, it has been completely normal for women to go topless for some time.”

    Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz also echoed this sentiment, explaining that the practice of women going topless in swimming pools has never been prohibited.

    She said, “The Mugrons Lliures entity presented a complaint to the OND, which argued that the regulations that regulate clothing based on gender are discriminatory, so it recommends that municipal centres with swimming pools withdraw any regulations that prohibit the 'topless' in their spaces.”

    Any centre that does not comply with the ruling could face a fine.

    This article originally appeared on our sister site The Scotsman