High-quality shared toilets can reduce women’s feelings of stress due to fear of violence

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This two-page policy brief summarises the findings of a qualitative research study which looked at causes and levels of psychosocial stress among users of traditional shared latrines and high-quality shared toilets in informal settlements in Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo. In many slum communities in Africa and Asia, many people live in rental compounds in small rooms that do not have space for private toilets. Such people necessarily rely on shared sanitation facilities. It is widely believed that these shared facilities do not offer security for women and girls, particularly when using the toilet late at night.

The findings suggest that high-quality shared toilets can substantially reduce feelings of stress associated with fear of robbery, physical assault or sexual assault when using the toilet. However, fear of violence was not totally eliminated, reflecting high crime levels in these communities, and suggesting that additional measures (such as improved compound fencing) may be necessary.

Date: 26 July 2018
Country: 
Mozambique
Type: 
Institutions: