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.
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.”
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 http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/11/19/364775062/me-myself-and-the-loo-a-womans-future-can-rest-on-a-toilet