Map showing frequency & severity of violence against
women in Bhalswa slum, Delhi. Shirley Lennon/SHARE.
The lack of safe toilets for women and girls is often linked to an increased risk of sexual harassment and rape. Earlier studies  from Kenya, Uganda and India, and now a recent BBC news item are some of the few sources to actually quantify this risk.
Senior police official Arvind Pandey from the Indian state of Bihar told the BBC that 400 women would have “escaped” rape in 2012 if they had toilets in their homes. The rapes take place when women go outside to defecate early in the morning and late evening. These “sanitation-related” rapes make up nearly half of the more than 870 cases of rape in Bihar in 2012.
The BBC news item lists three specific cases:
- On 5 May, an 11-year-old girl was raped in Mai village in Jehanabad district when she was going to the field at night
- On 28 April, a young girl was abducted and raped when she had gone out to defecate in an open field in Kalapur village in Naubatpur, 35km (21 miles) from the state capital, Patna
- On 24 April, another girl was raped in similar circumstances on a farm in Chaunniya village in Sheikhpura district. She told the police that two villagers had followed and raped her. One of them has been arrested
In Bihar , 75.8% of homes have no toilet facilities (Census 2011). Some 49% of the households without a toilet wanted one for “safety and security” for women and children, according to a study by Population Service International (PSI), Monitor Deloitte and Water for People.
 Heise, L., 2013. Danger, disgust and indignity : women’s perception of sanitation in informal settlements. Powerpoint presented at “Making connections: Women, sanitation and health”, 29 April 2013, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Video version available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS9ulpJqh7s
- Request for Proposals: The effects of poor sanitation on women and girls in India, Sanitation Updates, 07 Mar 2013
- India, Delhi: how sexual violence against women is linked to water and sanitation, E-Source, 27 Mar 2012
Source: Amarnath Tewary, BBC, 09 May 2013
Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh presents the Sulabh Sanitation Award to Anita Bai Narre. Photo: V. Sudershan / The Hindu
A young woman who sparked a “sanitation revolution” in her village by forcing her husband to build a toilet in their home has been presented with a cheque for 500,000 Rupees (US$ 10,000).
Anita Narre of Chichouli village of Betul district in Madhya Pradesh received the award from Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, on behalf of Sulabh International.
Nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone, according to the country’s latest census data.
Only 46.9% of the 246.6 million households have toilets while 49.8% defecate in the open. The remaining 3.2% use public toilets.
Census of India 2011 - Availability and Type of Latrine Facility: 2001-2011
Census 2011 data on houses, household amenities and assets reveal that 63.2% of homes have a telephone. More than half the population – 53.2% – have a mobile phone.
Posted in Gender, India, On-site sanitation, Statistics
Tagged Anita Narre, census, household latrines, mobile phones, open defecation, sanitation coverage, source_publish, telephones
Girls under ten being have been raped while on their way to use a public toilet, say women living in Delhi’s slums. In one slum, boys hid in toilet cubicles at night waiting to rape those who entered. These are some of the incidents mentioned in a recent briefing note  based on research supported by WaterAid and the DFID-funded SHARE (Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity).
The link between a lack of access to water and sanitation facilities and sexual violence against women is not well known and to date has received insufficient attention. The briefing note highlights this link within the context of urban slums in Delhi, and suggests how this problem can be addressed.
 Lennon, S. 2011. Fear and anger : perceptions of risks related to sexual violence against women linked to water and sanitation in Delhi, India. (SHARE briefing note). London, UK, SHARE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 15 p. Available at: www.shareresearch.org/Resource/Details/violenceagainstwomen_india
- Insecurity and indignity : women’s experiences in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, E-Source, 23 Jul 2010
- Ghana: stop violence against girls – build school toilets, E-Source, 21 Sep 2009
Related web sites:
Why do families build toilets? If the family tradition for many generations has been to defecate in the open – using local woods or accepted sites, then what is the incentive to make a break and opt for a toilet instead?
Concern for daughters and for elderly relatives are two factors often mentioned by families as motivating factors, especially as ‘safe’ places to defecate outside disappear.
The outputs of the the project “Researching Gender Aspects of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Projects with Pacific Communities” (2009-2011) have been published on genderinpacificwash.info
The study focuses on two Pacific case studies that incorporate gender strategies and support community decision making processes: World Vision’s Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) initiatives in rural Vanuatu and Live and Learn’s water governance and sustainable communities projects in Fiji.
The research findings have been translated into a set of guidance materials for organisations undertaking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities. The guidance materials include a resource guide, flash cards, a poster, and case study snapshots.
The research project was implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) and the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) with funding from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
Photo: G.N.Rao, The Hindu
Photo: G.N. Rao, The Hindu
These extraordinary photos were published last year, March 2010, on International Women’s Day in The Hindu here and here . They show a group of tribal women drawing water from an agricultural well at Govind Tanda in Karepalli mandal (division) of Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh.
Thanks to V. Madhusudana Rao of Access Livelihoods Foundation for the tip.
An Indian NGO that provides housing and toilets for women’s groups was a finalist in the 2010 World Habitat Awards. Established in 1979, the Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) mobilises poor women to form self-help saving groups (SHG).
Some 6,700 groups have been established do far, each of which is made up of 12 to 20 disadvantaged women. IVDP has sourced affordable credit lines for the members of the saving groups, enabling the construction of 24,705 houses and 17,000 toilets. Awareness-raising campaigns help improve wider vulnerable groups’ understanding of water, sanitation and personal hygiene practices.
Hiring a female meter reader in a USAID-funded project in Afghanistan, resulted in 75 per cent increase in collected revenue in the first month. In the local cultural context, only a woman can access household meters during times when only other women are at home.
The U.S. Government is assisting four provincial water supply departments in Afghanistan to improve their productivity and financial performance. Ultimately, the departments will become self-sustaining commercial enterprises that can expand services and provide safe drinking water to Afghan citizens.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending a US$ 35 million loan to help Indonesia rehabilitate and expand sanitation facilities in the cities of Medan and Yogyakarta.
Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, and Yogyakarta, the capital of Yogyakarta province, have a combined population of around 4.5 million people.
The loan will be used to build around 280 communal sanitation facilities in poor areas in the two cities, as well as two wastewater treatment systems for low-cost housing development projects in Medan. Sewerage systems will be rehabilitated and expanded with up to 28,000 additional household connections. The Metropolitan Sanitation Management and Health Project will also provide support to mobilize community involvement in the planning, operation and maintenance of communal facilities, and will ensure women are strongly involved in the process.