Long-Term Investments In, Improved WASH Critical To Women’s, Girls’ Health, Achieving Gender Equality

Inter Press Service: Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equality
Tim Wainwright, chief executive at WaterAid

“…Being denied access to safe, private toilets is particularly dangerous for women and girls, impacting on their health and education, and exposing them to an increased risk of harassment and even attack. … Next summer, leaders will review progress on [Sustainable Development] Goal 6 to ensure universal access to water and sanitation. As countries prepare for this, there needs to be a dramatic step change in ambition and action. … We need governments and donors to acknowledge the importance of sanitation and make the urgent long-term investments needed. Girls and women should feed into the decision-making process to make sure the services meet their needs whatever their age or physical ability. And the issue of sanitation must be taken out of its cubicle — the health, education, and business sector must realize that providing safe, accessible toilets to all within their premises is non-negotiable. Only then [will] girls and women be able to fully participate in their communities, enjoying the health, education, and gender equality premiums brought by just being able to use a safe toilet” (11/16).