World Toilet Day Exhibit Focuses on Women and Girls

To celebrate World Toilet Day, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor paired with the Panos Pictures photo agency to create an exhibit titled My Toilet: Global Stories from Women and Girls. The London-based not-for-profit organization, referred to as WSUP, aimed to share the stories of women from 20 different countries and the lengths they must go to in order to relieve themselves. The exhibit began this Monday and will last for six days, featuring women and girls photographed alongside her version of a “toilet,” describing the difficulties that come with it.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 8.18.35 PM

Access to clean, safe toilets is a luxury that we barely even think about in our daily lives. However, for these women and girls, the lack of a proper toilet can mean traveling exhausting distances, putting themselves in harm’s way, and being exposed to health risks.

Over the summer in India, two girls using a field as a toilet were gang-raped and murdered.

Other women and girls feel that they have to wait until dark to search for a private place to relieve themselves, increasing the risk for urinary tract infections, constipation and mental stress.

Sam Drabble of WSUP says, “The exhibit is designed to give a sense of the global nature of this problem and the universality of the subject.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 8.18.23 PM

While we probably rarely think about access to public and private restrooms, one in every ten girls in Africa skips school during her menstruation or drops out of school completely once menstruation begins.

Until reading this article on NPR, I had hardly thought about the different struggles females might have to go through in order to gain access to toilets, so I think the WSUP is successfully raising awareness for a cause that lacks the attention it needs.

However, should more be done to help these women and girls than photographing them?




information and photos:

Me, Myself And The Loo: A Woman’s Future Can Rest On A Toilet. (2014, November 19). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from

5 thoughts on “World Toilet Day Exhibit Focuses on Women and Girls

  1. This issue has never crossed my mind before. Readily accessible bathrooms is something that we take for granted here. This is a serious issue, but since its all about going to the bathroom I think traditional media have strayed from covering the subject because of its “nasty” nature.


  2. Interesting awareness campaign. I never thought about this either until I read this. What I get from this post, though, is that it’s more about women’s safety when using the bathroom rather than the bathroom situation itself. Unfortunately, that’s an entirely separate issue and India is having a heck of a time with controlling those attacks over there.


  3. Wow. I feel slightly ignorant in a sense. I had no idea or conception of such a topic or injustice. The bigger issue at hand is funding, government lobbying, “arm-chair” in state ethical decision making and much more…This is a very sad topic that I think, unfortunately, will not see a solution in several years to come. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.


  4. This is an issue that never really crossed my mind as something that people living in third world countries have to deal with on a daily basis. This concept and day of awareness is a great way to inform people such as myself who might not know otherwise about what is going on.


  5. Living in such comfort that we often take for granted really makes me feel sorry after reading this. Something definitely should be done to solve this problem not only for the women’s health but also safety. Instead of donating money to buy food and build shelter, more effort should also be put into building public bathrooms and also maintenance to make sure the bathrooms are clean and safe for the women in those countries. It is not fair and unfortunate how an everyday bodily reaction can lead to death for the women. I feel like advertisement should use its ability to reach out to the audience to raise awareness of good cause like this instead of just selling and promoting products that aid capitalism.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s