Time to speak up for the 1 in 3 women without a toilet
(A World Toilet Day Blog by WaterAid)
If you didn’t have a toilet, where would you go? Behind a tree? Down an alleyway? Would you do it in broad daylight or would you wait until nightfall? Would you feel safe? Would you feel clean? This is the daily nightmare for 1 in 3 women worldwide.
Living without a toilet is not just an inconvenience; it impacts on all aspects of life, and it is women and girls who suffer the most. Not only does it expose them to illness. It also increases the risk of shame, fear and even violence when they are forced to go outside in search of somewhere private to go to the toilet.
International charity WaterAid has helped us imagine the dangers and embarrassment involved through their powerful new film.
Women are reluctant to talk about it or complain, but the world cannot ignore this issue. There are 2.5 billion people living without sanitation. That means more people own a mobile phone than a toilet. This is a global crisis, and this World Toilet Day on 19 November, we can do something to help.
We can join the hundreds and thousands of people calling on governments to keep the promises they have made to get adequate sanitation and safe water to the world’s poorest people,
Adequate sanitation and clean, safe water transform lives. Add your voice to WaterAid’s pledge, and help women like Katherine Mulemba. She’s 60 years old and lives in an unplanned settlement in Lusaka, Zambia, where she has no access to adequate sanitation:
“I don’t have a latrine; I use my neighbours’. Sometimes they refuse so I go to a bar. If they see me, they don’t let me in. I feel embarrassed, but what can I do? At night, I go in a tin. I stay indoors as it’s dangerous to go out alone at night; people can rape you.”
Stories like Katherine’s are difficult to hear, but we need to make sure the world is listening.
1 in 3 women worldwide live without access to a safe toilet. Take action to support them this World Toilet Day by joining our first ever Thunderclap.
Take action at www.wateraid.org/1in3.