Are all-women gyms discriminatory or necessary so women can enjoy a more comfortable workout environment? All-female gyms are preferred by many women who find they can work out more freely and feel safer than in gyms whose membership includes men. However, others disagree. Here we outline some of the pros and cons of women-only gyms.
Pros of All-Female Gyms
1. Harder Workouts
Many women feel more comfortable and supported exercising in an all-female environment, while also feeling less self-conscious about how they look (and smell).
2. Designed for Women
Some women find things like menstruation or pregnancy easier in an environment designed specifically for them. Many women-only gyms also prioritize childcare.
3. Safety First
While some women may use the gym as an opportunity to meet men, other women say they don't like getting hit on and worry about their safety and security.
All-female gyms can feel more supportive for women who are new to workouts or self-conscious about how they look in gym gear.
Single-sex gyms give women an opportunity to connect and network with other women, similar to how many men's clubs operate.
Cons to All-Female Gyms
1. All Female Gyms Appear Discriminatory
Women fought for their civil rights and many men and women feel that men should be entitled to exercise and work at all-female gyms (see US Lawsuits below).
2. Variety of Classes
Women-only gyms and fitness studios have a reputation for specializing in traditionally “feminine” workouts, like yoga or Pilates.
3. Women Face Discrimination at Many Fitness Facilities
Around the globe women are fighting and filing lawsuits for access to men-only fitness facilities, including golf courses and swimming pools. Many women feel that all-female gyms lessen their cause for opening all-male facilities.
In the US, lawsuits were filed against women-only gyms on grounds of discrimination. The result? Lawmakers across the country exempted fitness centers from the statute’s antidiscrimination provision, and today women-only gyms are a thriving sector of the $26 billion US health club industry.