“No Toilet, No Bride” Just One of The Campaigns Focused On Getting Bathrooms For Women In India Before Marriage
An Indian woman just won a divorce over a toilet.
Ajmer, India, a 24-year-old woman just won a divorce from her husband after he refused to build her a toilet. As bizarre as that sounds, the divorce is actually a big deal for womens rights in the country.
Times of India reports that the woman’s husband found the demand for a toilet “unusual,” on the grounds that most women relieved themselves outside at night.
The family court hearing this woman’s case found the husbands stubbornness to build the toilet far from amusing, instead a cruel act because it meant “a gross violation to the modesty of a woman.” The court added, “We spend money on buying tobacco, liquor, and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family.”
Indoor toilets are more of a luxury then a necessity as across the country access to indoor latrines is limited. While men in India are able to pee and take a crap outside without much problem, women due to the modesty in Indian culture are unable to do the same and are often forced to wait until nightfall to go outside to relieve themselves.
This is not only embarrassing to the women, but it also makes them vulnerable to attacks and assaults.
There are organizations though trying to improve the situation. Large effort have been made to get more toilets in homes across the country. One campaign focused on getting bathrooms for women before marriage called “No Toilet, No Bride” helped build more than 1 million bathrooms in the northern part of the country from 2007 to 2009, according to The Washington Post. The program urged for women to demand a toilet before accepting a marriage proposal.
In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Clean India Campaign. The program promises to revolutionize India’s waste problems by 2019.