Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed

Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed | by Barbara Frost, Winnie Byanyima, Corinne Woods and Nick Alipui in The Guardian, June 1, 2014

Excerpts – Attacks on girls and women as they look for somewhere private to defecate are frighteningly common. Improving basic sanitation, as a global goal, would do a lot to make them safer. 

Two teenage girls have been gang-raped and killed after doing what half a billion women and girls are forced to do every day – go outdoors to try to find somewhere discreet to go to the toilet.

A slum in India: for want of basic sanitation children often defecate near the railway tracks. Photograph: Jon Spaull/WaterAid

A slum in India: for want of basic sanitation children often defecate near the railway tracks. Photograph: Jon Spaull/WaterAid

A toilet, bathroom, powder room – whatever you want to call it – at home, at school, at work, in the shopping mall, is something many of us take for granted and cannot talk about without feeling embarrassed. But we must: because the lack of toilets is costing women their lives.

Today, 2.5 billion people live without access to a toilet, forcing women to walk to dark and dangerous places to find the privacy they need – those same dark and dangerous places where men wait to attack them.

So we must stop blushing when we talk about open defecation because it is not something to be embarrassed about: it is something to be angry about.

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3 responses to “Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed

  1. Food for thought

    Reblogged this on Food for thought.

  2. Food for thought

    Lacking access to toilets, girls and women are forced to relieve themselves under the cover of darkness, leaving them vulnerable to physical and sexual attacks and violence.

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