Accessibility and Toilets

Women and girls with disabilities fare less well in the Indian educational arena and low access to work than either their male counter parts or other women without disabilities due to lack of accessible amenities such as toilets. There are fewer toilets for women than men in public places, educational institutions and work places, which pose health and safety threats.Additionally, it leads to urinary/ kidney disorders for most.

Women and girls are forced to defecate in the open either in the early hours of dawn or after dark and many times have to walk long distances to collect water thereby, increase their vulnerability to harassment and violence, including sexual abuse.Moreover, girls and women with disabilities are bodily lifted by their family members/ carers; transferred with soil clothes, which aggravates health hazards and they become more prone to abuse and violence. Situation gets worse during menstruation cycle and there are no safe and dignified means for menstruation hygiene management for them.

Samarthyam continues policy advocacy with action oriented approach to bring change in the lives of girls and women with disabilities.

The State has signed the UNCRPD and Article 9 Accessibility, stipulates universal design in and it should be implemented especially in toilet designs. The States must:

  • reduce vulnerabilities to violence by providing accessible, functional and hygienic toilet facilities with running water for menstruation hygiene management for girls and women with disabilities.
  • provide appropriate access to water and sanitation facilities, including health, dignity, convenience, and safety.
  • make public spaces and transportation infrastructure accessible and safe.

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