Sarah Newey for the Telegraph writes:
Dark and insecure toilets disproportionately affect women and girls, putting them at greater risk of harassment and damage to their health, three charities have warned.
Across the world, one in three women do not have access to a toilet at home, instead relying on public or community toilets.
But these facilities often lack locks, robust doors or facilities to dispose of sanitary products, which discourages women from using them.
Traveling to the toilets can also put women and girls at risk, especially at night. In 2014, police in Bihar in India said that some 400 women would have “escaped” rape if they had access to toilets in their own home.
“If facilities are not in a safe geographical location, secure and bright, then the surrounding area can attract people who are interested in harassing women and girls,” said Priya Nath, equality, inclusion and rights advisor at WaterAid.
“It’s not only the threat, perception of risk is just as important. If women perceive that it is not safe to go to the toilet then they will not use it. But we know that not eating or drinking to hold on, or not changing sanitation products, has huge health problems,” she added.