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| Last Updated:10/09/2014

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India's Sanitation Crisis Is Trapping Women In A Cycle Of Violence

forbes.com, 09 September 2014

 

Last week, the Thomson Reuters Foundation outlined how Bangladesh, India’s much poorer and flood-prone neighbor, has had more success building bathrooms for its citizens. In just over a decade, Bangladesh managed to decrease the percentage of people defecating in the open from 19% in 2000 to just 3% in 2012.

 

Across the border in India the picture is very different. According to the World Bank, over 600 million people, roughly 53% of Indian households, still use public streets and fields as bathrooms. And it is the women of India who are paying the highest price.

 

The shortages of basic bathroom facilities in India leaves women and girls with no option but to venture out, often late at night, to relieve themselves in the open. It is on their way to and from this journey that they face the risk of horrific, even deadly, attacks of sexual violence. The world was exposed to this shocking reality when two teenage cousins in Uttar Pradesh were found raped and hanging from a tree just this past summer. Read more....