This paper raises awareness of the impacts of poor sanitation on women across the world and calls for a concerted effort on a different scale from all levels of government, business, and civil society. It looks at how poor sanitation affects women's health, education, livelihoods, and what the global community, from governments to NGOs to business, can do to make a difference.
- All governments must have sanitation integrated into education policy, supported by sufficient resources and concrete plans.
- One in three women worldwide risk shame, disease, harassment, and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. Of these, 526 million women have no choice but to go to the the toilet out in the open. Women and girls living without any toilets spend 97 billion hours each year finding a place to go.
- On any given day, more than 800 million women between 15 and 49 are menstruating.
- Nearly three-quarters of girls in India had no idea what was happening to them when they started their first period.
- Over 50 percent of girls miss between one to four days of school per month due to menstruation. Average primary school completion rates for boys in sub-Saharan Africa are 56 percent but only 46 percent for girls.
- A school sanitation programme in Bangladesh was instrumental in increasing the number of girls enrolling by 11 percent.