Today, World Toilet Day, is a day to raise awareness about the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitation, even though everyone has the right to water and sanitation.
It is hugely important for everyone to have clean sanitary facilities, but it is particularly vital for women and teenage girls. Once a girl starts menstruating, she needs to be able to use a toilet at home and in school. If a school or workplace has inadequate facilities, women are prevented from working and girls are barred from education. Although we may think a toilet is a small thing, it can make a huge difference.
If people have no toilet to use, their only other option is open defecation. Some women and girls risk rape by waiting until nightfall, because they have no privacy during the day. Open defecation is an insult to someone’s dignity and highlights the inequality in the world. The idea of having no toilet shocks many of us, but it is the reality for millions of people.
Women using poorly lit toilets with no locks, far away from their homes during the night, are often very vulnerable. It is important that women have access to facilities that are not only clean, but are also safe.
Please get involved today, if you have an event you want to publicise, leave a comment. World Toilet Day are using #WeCantWait on Twitter to show that the 2.5 billion people without access to improved sanitation need help now.