In the United States we don't think too much about toilets. Sure, they're convenient...but an International Toilet Day? Ew.
But hold it a second...
Now, toilets might not be seeing the best parts of you, but some people aren't seeing toilets at all -about 1 billion people in fact. These billion people...where do they do theur business? In the open field. And let's not stop there, another 2.5 billion people don't have access to adequate toilets. And this causes a lot of problems. Why?
What is one of the biggest contributors to under-5 mortality? Diarrheal Diseases.
And how does someone usually get these disease? Usually, water and food that has been contaminated by feces.
Yeah, go look at your toilet again. You friend, are looking at one of the greatest public health triumphs in history (aka: the reason you probably don't have cholera right now).
But toilets do more than improve health, they also can save women's lives. Lets's be honest: peeing and pooping are things we don't talk about. They are also things we don't do in the public. So it should be to no surprise that many women and girls wait until after dark to do their business. After dark is a dangerous time to be a women.
Geeta has no toilet near her home in northern India; she treks 2 miles in the dark to a field for privacy. If Vanessa's school had private bathrooms, the 17-year-old wouldn't have to miss class when she's having her period -NPR
The rape and murder of the two girls from last summer is not an isolated incident. And let's be clear -we're talking about two different problems here, rape culture and lack of accessible sanitation- but what is clear is that toilets are crucial in ensuring both safety and health.