Tyranny of toilets

In the lead-in to World Toilet Day, we hear a great deal about the role of toilets in sanitation and in better health and human development outcomes.  Toilets are good development. Period. We hear less about the fact that toilets are often sites and instruments of social exclusion. Let me explain. Segregated toilets for males and females were intended to give women privacy and to respect the “intrinsic” physical differences between the sexes.  In fact, in most developing countries, segregated toilets are a sine qua non for female participation in public spaces, in education and in employment.   But the story is more complex. While working on The Rising Tide, our “thinking device” on water and gender, I came upon this fascinating piece by Terry Kogan in the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law.  He argues that the origins of sex segregated public toilets were deeply gendered to start with. Yet segregated toilets are good in general, unless, in Kogan’s words... — blog.wb.org/blogs