On World Toilet Day UN Women calls to increase access to basic sanitation
19 November 2013
On World Toilet Day, UN Women is calling attention to the urgent need to increase access to toilets stressing that women are disproportionately affected by the lack of basic sanitation. This undermines their dignity and safety from sexual and gender-based violence.
Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment supported the construction of "ecosan" toilets in schools in rural areas of Armenia. Photo: Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment
Today, 2.5 billion people still do not have access to proper sanitation, increasing their vulnerability to diseases. Lack of safe, private toilets at schools is one of the reasons for high drop-out rates amongst young girls and is a major impediment to girls’ education.
One billion people practice “open defecation” contaminating the water and environment and increasing the risks of diarrhoea, which is the second deadliest killer of children in the world, killing 1,600 children every day.
UN Women is partnering with Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) to promote good practices of women’s leadership in achieving the internationally agreed goals for water and sanitation. This involves supporting women’s networks to sensitize communities and training women to build toilets in their homes.
Among these women’s networks are the Katosi Women Development Trust, Uganda, the Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment and the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), Nigeria. To hear more about some of their work, watch this short video with Ms. Rehema Bavuma, Katosi Women Development Trust, Uganda.
On World Water Day, UN Women spotlights the need to ensure access to drinking water and sanitation for all