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June 8, 2015

“Why Using Patriarchal Messaging to Promote Toilets is a Bad Idea” (letter)

Filed under: Letter to Editor — Aravinda @ 2:40 pm
Tags: ,

Dear Editor,

NIKHIL SRIVASTAV AND AASHISH GUPTA’s article, “Why Using Patriarchal Messaging to Promote Toilets is a Bad Idea” raises a number of shocking points about the campaigns that link sanitation to women’s safety rather than to public health for all. While disappointing, the government’s attitude is not exactly surprising. But I would have expected better from Vidya Balan. Why are otherwise smart, socially responsible people going along with the outrageous implications of such a message?
A few years ago the Guardian published an article co-authored by directors of four international organizations (WaterAid, Oxfam International, UN Millennium Campaign and Unicef), containing the following paragraph that has been quoted by everyone from angry young bloggers to the American Bar Association:

A report in the Times of India in February this year quoted the police in another district of Uttar Pradesh as saying that 95% of cases of rape and molestation took place when women and girls had left their homes to “answer a call of nature.”

Your piece however points to data that indicates that “most sexual violence occurs within the home, not outside it.” Rather than attributing violence to location, or trying to enclose women in the name of safety we must open the minds of all to the truth about violence, the facts about health and hygiene, and the right to freedom and dignity for all.

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See Also: Not Only Toilets

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