Over 940 million women around the world have to defecate outside because they lack access to toilets. Which puts many at risk of sexual assault, harassment and even kidnapping.
Imagine being afraid every time you need to answer the call to nature because you or your children run the risk of being harassed, sexually assaulted or even abducted. 940 million women still defecate in the open fields as they have no option.
Many women living in rural areas and urban slums wait until nightfall to use the toilet so they are not seen. They will reduce their intake of food and drink during the day, resulting in hunger and thirst in hot temperatures causing many health implications such as abdominal pain and infections (some countries reach over 40 degrees).
Many women have reported that going to the field is very dangerous and those with daughters are always concerned about their safety. Women try to take their male guardians with them as protection, but this is not always practical and there are many women who do not have such family dynamic (widows, divorcees).
The lack of facilities is increasing the risk of sexual abuse worldwide, in fact, 1 in 3 women will experience physical, sexual or emotional violence at least once in her lifetime. In many countries, the topic of sexual abuse is a taboo and for this reason many incidents go unreported forcing women to live in silence and endure the harassment.
A third of women risk being exposed to life threatening diseases due to withholding for a long period and poor hygiene that comes with open defecation.
There have been various reports of girls as young as 10 being attacked and abducted with the intent of being sold into the sex industry. The two major reasons for the lack of facilities for women is overcrowding and poverty.
In recent years there has been an increased in demand for safe toilets, women in Pakistan, Malawi and Bangladesh have said that due to the increase in population they are now feeling extreme levels of fear when defecating in the field and have seen men watching them.
What We Are Doing & Why:
1. Implementing safe toilets
2. Each toilet comes with a washroom
3. Building communal blocks for women only
4. Building in-house toilets for the elderly and disabled
5. To protect the dignity of women
6. Giving freedom of movement to both women and girls
7. Improving the feeling of security
8. Giving women the confidence to live a life free from fear
We don’t have to use the open fields now to go to the toilet, there are only women in our house and my mother is very elderly, so we are very thankful you have done this for us. Ms Kaur, India
We are implementing safe toilets worldwide; the need is great, our aim is to protect the dignity of women and restore freedom of movement for women and young girls. This project is being implemented in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malawi & Afghanistan