As women, we’re constantly faced with situations which prove that we’re treated as second-class citizens. Provisions aren’t made thinking of women as equals or people who are independent. A Twitter user talked about the appalling condition of public toilets for women, and it’s further proof that equality is far-fetched.
As a woman who has spent about a decade working in a job that requires being on the field, the state of public toilets in India is really appalling. Every time you travel, irrespective of the place, you dread the restroom visits.— Ankita Bhatkhande (@ankitab1492) July 19, 2022
In this Twitter thread, she talked about how public toilets are unsanitary, where even basic facilities are missing. The presence of a functioning lock and water is the bare minimum and even that seems like a huge deal – because it has been achieved in only some paid restrooms. Women who have to travel for work or women who do not have access to toilets otherwise, rely on public washrooms. But these conditions make it almost impossible for them to use such facilities, or even if they do, they cannot feel safe.
Every woman in India has somehow learnt the skill of squating and holding the door at the same time. Even the paid restrooms are no better. The only difference is that the water taps won’t close there leading to terribly wet floors (they throw the water at you for paying )— Ankita Bhatkhande (@ankitab1492) July 19, 2022
The lack of cleanliness or the lack of toilets thereof, is a major issue that is not talked about enough. As menstruators, women should have basic access to sanitary conditions, and it’s not a privilege that can be dismissed. The situation of public toilet system in our country is definitely unhealthy.
The absence of enough restrooms is another issue. In many petrol pumps, they have a restroom because it is a mandate but it is locked. I remember a petrol pump manager opening a small AC back office so that I could use a restroom. This is a rare occurrence.— Ankita Bhatkhande (@ankitab1492) July 19, 2022
All we need are facilities that are accommodative of women as well, and at least a conversation around such issues. The condition of public restrooms and the way they’re situated at large distances, raises a number of problems that are not even addressed. I mean, what is the system expecting us to do? Hold it in?
When will this change? I don’t know. But the sad part is, the problem this huge is not even a part of our public discourse. No politician or bureaucrat talks about it because a.They are mostly men and b. They are too rich to think about this “petty issue”!— Ankita Bhatkhande (@ankitab1492) July 19, 2022
Just a fact – women defecate too! And it’s time that basic sanitation is not treated as a luxury for us.