Ever stopped to think about how important a toilet is to a woman?
Yet, access to a clean, private, working toilet is a privilege not all women have. Even in today’s world, almost 3.6 billion people still find toilet a luxury.
An average of six times per day, pregnant women need to use the bathroom to prevent urinary tract infections. Bathroom hygiene is everything during pregnancy.
But what if the only available toilet is a latrine shared by too many people?
Zoubaida, a 21-year-old mother of three, never knew what it is like to have privacy and access the toilet whenever she needed.
"Not long ago, I was sharing the latrine with 11 others," she says.
For years, Zoubaida had to share the same latrine with different members of the informal tented settlement where she lives with her family.
"Once or twice per day," is how many times she was able to use the latrine, even when she was pregnant or on her period, which used to cause her severe infection and constipation.
"When men are around all the time, women tend to be shy while using the latrine on their period," she explains.
Add to all this going to the bathroom at night.
Most informal tented settlements in Lebanon are located in the Beqaa valley - a vast land covered in total darkness at night. Imagine leaving the tent and heading outside to use the bathroom.
"It is one scary experience," says Zoubaida. "We go all together before going to sleep and that's it and the children are not allowed outside by themselves."
When World Vision Lebanon installed a private toilet for her family, Zoubaida's life changed completely,
"I am pregnant now, and I could not be more grateful for World Vision to install this toilet right outside the tent for our private use only," she says.
The sense of security that she feels gives her relief, especially for her little girl who can grow up without having to worry about getting any sickness or disease.
World Vision Lebanon aims to install latrines to provide safe, appropriate, and adequate access to toilet facilities, targeting the vulnerable population, rehabilitating 200 and constructing 210 more between December 2020 and September 2021. Through October, November and December, 63 more latrines will be rehabilitated, and another 367 will be constructed.
World Toilet Day theme was about valuing toilets.
And no one values a toilet more than a pregnant woman.
Just ask Zoubaida.