Dirty talk: would you use a see-through loo?

Did you know that 1 in 3 females worldwide don’t have access to a clean, safe toilet?

Domestos UNICEF sanitation see-through loo

There are more than 2.5 billion people worldwide who miss out on basic sanitation. Women and girls who risk shame, disease, harassment and physical attacks on a daily basis, as they are forced to search outside of their homes and schools, travelling long distances to find somewhere safe. This equates to a devastating 97 billion hours each year spent looking for private place to go to the toilet.

Can you imagine having to stay at home simply because you have your period? And I’m not just talking about missing 1 day thanks to cramps. Without a hygienic toilet in the school or workplace, women are forced to stay home during menstruation. This affects their ability to earn a livelihood and provide for their families, continuing the cycle of poverty.

And of course it doesn’t just affect women, but their children as well. Around 2,000 children die every day due to diarrhoea caused by a lack of access to safe toilets and clean water. It breaks my heart to hear this, as so many of my friends are now mothers, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child over something that should be preventable.

Just 1 of the 2.5 billion

Irene, a schoolgirl in Kenya, remembers how hard it was before they had safe, clean, secure toilets for all of the girls in school through the UNICEF-supported WASH programme, “When the toilets were dirty, girls struggled to use them. Some girls got diseases such as cholera or dysentery [and] before clean toilets, some girls on their period would ask for permission to go home because they were so ashamed”. As someone who enjoyed school, it was always hard for Irene because her and her friends often had to skip school and miss out on vital education due to poor sanitation. But with their improved sanitation it not only means improved health – it means improved education as well.

The see-through loo

Living in Australia, it’s hard to imagine this scenario. I have never felt unsafe going to the toilet, and have honestly never thought about it – a clean, private bathroom is something I take for granted. But Domestos and UNICEF are shaking things up, making a commitment to help 25 million people have access to proper sanitation by 2020, and they promoted this recently by installing a “see-through loo” at Bondi Beach.

See-through loo bondi beach Domestos UNICEF

Inside the see-through loo. Photo by Ryan Clark - Clark Imagery (www.clarkimagery.com.au)

While crowds flocked to the see-through loo, and enjoyed the novelty of it, the reality definitely hit home once people sat inside. The experience was uncomfortable and distressing. We’re lucky that it was a clean, fake toilet with 1-way glass, but the point is – not everybody is so lucky. And nobody should ever feel exposed or vulnerable while taking care of basic bodily functions. This is the point Domestos really wanted to drive home, and hey – here I am talking about it! So I’d say the see-through loo was a success.

So what can we do?

The easiest option to support this initiative is to add one extra item to your shopping trolley. Every specially marked bottle of Domestos sold from July to December 2016 contributes directly to tackling the global sanitation crisis.

“The partnership is enabling UNICEF to reach vulnerable girls, women and families around the world to provide access to proper sanitation facilities to reduce the spread of disease and improve education outcomes. Access to a toilet can be life-changing for girls who would otherwise skip school during menstruation and for women who risk their safety simply to find a safe and private place to relieve themselves.” – Felicity Wever, Head of International Programs at UNICEF Australia

The simple act of providing clean, safe toilets has many flow-on benefits to these communities – it improves women’s confidence, productivity, gender equality and tackles poverty.

And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

 

Learn more about the Domestos / UNICEF mission.

About Amy | The Foolish Obsession

Amy is a bunny-owning, floral-loving Sydney girl, excited to bring her love of Australian beauty, skincare & lifestyle services to a larger audience.