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Making the Case for a Female-Friendly Toilet

Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
International Rescue Committee, New York, NY 10168, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(9), 1193;
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Inadequate access to a private, comfortable, and well-located toilet remains a critical challenge for many girls and women around the world. This issue is especially acute for girls and women living in densely populated urban slums, displacement camps, and informal settlements, often resulting in anxiety, embarrassment, discomfort, and gender-based violence. The unique sanitation needs of girls and women are rarely accounted for during the design and construction of toilet facilities, including needs related to their physiology, reproductive health processes, prevalent social norms, and their heightened vulnerability to violence. It is critical that a new norm be developed regarding the design of female-friendly toilets which better enables girls and women to feel confident, safe, and dignified while managing their daily sanitation needs. This includes adopting specific design measures which account for their menstrual hygiene, personal safety, and dignity-related needs. Ultimately, an enhanced dialogue must take place among designers, policy makers, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practitioners, and other relevant actors, in addition to the target female users themselves, about how to adapt toilets in a range of development and emergency contexts and operations to better address these critical needs of girls and women. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender and sanitation; menstruation; menstrual hygiene management; water; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); waste management gender and sanitation; menstruation; menstrual hygiene management; water; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); waste management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmitt, M.L.; Clatworthy, D.; Ogello, T.; Sommer, M. Making the Case for a Female-Friendly Toilet. Water 2018, 10, 1193.

AMA Style

Schmitt ML, Clatworthy D, Ogello T, Sommer M. Making the Case for a Female-Friendly Toilet. Water. 2018; 10(9):1193.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schmitt, Margaret L., David Clatworthy, Tom Ogello, and Marni Sommer. 2018. "Making the Case for a Female-Friendly Toilet" Water 10, no. 9: 1193.

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