Women's Issue Committee petitions for more women-only hours at community pool

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Members of the Women's Issues Committee say they are asking for increased women-only hours at a public pool.

For five hours a week, the Metropolitan Swimming Pool opens its lanes for women only. But members of the Women's Issues Committee say that adding three more hours of this women-only swim time is essential at the year-round indoor pool.

Victoria Cambranes, who is with the committee, says the added hours would further benefit religious women, survivors of sexual abuse, transgender women and others that may feel more comfortable in a male-free swim environment.

"We're always advocating for women's spaces and women's rights here in the neighborhood," she says.

According to the Parks Department, about 40 women show up each session. The Women's Committee puts the number closer to 100.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol grew up in the area and said he agrees with the proposal. He said he wrote a letter to the mayor last week to advocate for increased hours.

One weekly pool user says he would not mind the increased women-only hours, however he also says he agrees with some other community members who believe the initiative discriminates against men, and that men-only hours should be added.

"If you want everything to be fair, this is what you have to do," he said.

While the Parks Department offers one women-only session a week at Saint John's Recreation Center in Crown Heights, they say they have no plans to add any more sessions at this time.

Advocates say they hope to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone.

The Women's Issues Committee will be meeting again in late October and add they will keep petitioning the city until the extra hours are granted.


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