These women have broken all stereotypes to improve sanitation in rural India

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At a time when many national and international media report on the atrocities committed against women in India, the stories of women's leadership in development remains an oft-ignored story. As India pitches headlong into making toilets in the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), there are heart-warming stories of women leading campaigns for better lives in their panchayats against heavy odds. A small percentage of the 271,000 villages that have rid themselves of open defecation can be attributed solely to the efforts of these women.

Research has shown women gain more than men from better sanitation and hygiene. They can use toilets in the safety of their homes and do not have to face insults or harassment when defecating or urinating in the open. Their health improves as they do not have to 'hold on' until dark. Using toilets reduces the risk of getting urinary tract infections, diarrhoea and water-borne infections. Women, as block development officers, sarpanches, jalabandhus and self-help group (SHG) members, have demonstrated sanitation improvements are possible utilising local resources and strategies.

Read the rest of this article in Business Insider India, 17th November 2017

Date: 3 January 2018
Region: 
Country: 
India