Left Menu
Development News Edition

SDG 6: Should public toilet complexes have more blocks for women?

On the occasion of the World Toilet Day on November 19, 2019 the United Nations expressed serious concerns on lack of toilet facilities for 4.2 billion people in the world. However, there is another aspect of the problem. The needs of female toilet blocks at public places are increasing because more and more women are breaking the traditional boundaries and actively participating in socio-economic activities throughout the world.

SDG 6: Should public toilet complexes have more blocks for women?
Image Credit: Flickr

Toilet is a basic need of every human being, it is due to this the UN has included a target under SDG 6 to provide toilet for every person by 2030 and prominently highlighted this on World Toilet Day 2019 (#WorldToiletDay2019). However, the requirement for toilet spaces is now taking a gender perspective.

As across the communities more and more women are coming out of the four walls of the home, the need of female toilet blocks particularly urinals at public places are increasing which is compelling the policy makers to think – what should be the ideal ratio for women toilet blocks in the public toilet complexes?

Highlighting the importance of toilets on the occasion of World Toilet Day on 19th November, 2019 the United Nations in a statement said, "A toilet is not just a toilet. It's a life-saver, dignity-protector and opportunity-maker. Whoever you are, wherever you are, sanitation is your human right,". However, this human right is not available to all as according to the UN about 4.2 billion people, almost half of the world population live without safely managed sanitation.

Though the British Standards Institution has recommended a ratio of 2:1 for public toilet complexes which means for every single toilet block constructed for men there should be two toilet blocks for women, these guidelines are rarely followed. This is because creating male urinals require less space and cost than creating female toilet blocks. The sanitation agencies throughout the world create more urinal blocks for men than toilet seats for women. This pattern was ideal when there were less women on public places than men but now as women are coming out in the public places, the requirement has increased.

Furthermore, most of the agencies throughout the world have no proper guidelines for making toilets for the transgender community who also need to be made aware about their rights. According to some reports, the members of transgender and gender non-conforming people face hostility and even attacked if they are perceived to be in the wrong toilet.

In the line of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 which promises sanitation for all by 2030, the United Nations on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2019 gave a call to provide toilet facilities for all. However, the problem is not confined to just providing toilet facilities to 4.2 billion people. This is because this target is primarily focused for addressing household requirements.

The policy makers and implementing agencies need to design a plan to meet the requirements of toilets at public places. In fact, this problem of increased waiting time due to long queues in front of female public toilets is often visible at places of public gathering such as cinema halls, transport hubs etc. "The ladies are about to storm the men's loos", said British actor Joanna Lumley in an appeal to increase the number of toilets for women who face long lavatory queues at London's historic Old Vic theatre, last year. In England, the historic places like Victorian theatres often face this problem due to lack of space for more toilets. The international agencies need to focus on the target of SDG 6 which commits to paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

Will the implementing agencies come with a better plan for appropriate number of female toilet blocks to meet the increasing requirements of women at public places? This is still a million dollar question.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

  • Devdiscourse



Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

How to avoid fake universities and fishing bait like Farmington

As education sharks are roaming around to prey, we present a guide on how to mitigate hunters and reach to a genuine universityinstitute. In this era of commercialization of education, the fake universities and economic frauds in educationa...


Latest News

Trump to meet Russia's foreign minister on Tuesday - Ifax cites a source

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet U.S. President Donald Trump during talks in Washington on Tuesday, the Interfax news agency cited a source in Russias foreign ministry as saying on Monday.Russias foreign ministry said earlie...

Department to engage with officials and service providers

The Department of Public Service and Administration is considering charging officials and service providers liable for unauthorized, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.We will be engaging with the Auditor-General South Africa AGS...

Paris witnesses traffic horror as strike brings city to halt

HIGHLIGHTSParis witnessed massive traffic jams as strikes against retirement plan changes halted trains and subways on fifth straight day.SNCF national rail network has warned travelers to stay home or use alternative means.The national roa...

Delhi fire tragedy: Court sends property owner, manager to 14-day police custody

A Delhi court Monday sent to 14-day police custody the property owner and the manager of the four-storey building housing illegal manufacturing units in north Delhis congested Anaj Mandi area where 43 people were killed in a massive fire. M...

Give Feedback