Let’s all get serious about this
Under many Christmas trees this year will be “Baby Alive” dolls which allow young girls to experience what it’s like to be a mother. Depending on the doll, they have to be fed, have their diapers changed, or be pottytrained. No doubt, many parents would march back to the store outraged if the dolls were missing the potties. So why is there no outrage over the fact that over a billion real women and girls have no access to toilets? For some privacy, they have to go in the bushes in the dark where they face a whole slew of dangers, including sexual assault. If there are no separate facilities for boys and girls at school, menstruating girls are likely to stay home so they can clean themselves and to avoid ridicule. Their periods can last up to seven days, meaning they miss school as much as 25 per cent of the time. It’s no wonder many girls drop out, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Let’s drop the taboos, the jokes, and get serious about this. Simple solutions exist, like latrines that compost waste. These are modern times; nobody should have to do their business as if they’re still living in the Stone Age.
Publication: The Whitehorse Daily Star
Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Stephen St. Denis