India’s first female toilet builders. Improving sanitation, women empowerment, social inclusion
Basic sanitation facilities are inaccessible to 40 percent of the world’s population). The call to address the Sixth Sustainable Development Goal of “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” has never been so imperative, particularly in a nation such as India where open defecation is most rampant. Girls and women in rural India are disproportionately affected by limited access to adequate sanitation. Despite countless attempts to counteract the practice of open defecation in India, the kind of attitudinal and behavioral change necessary to end open defecation on a large and sustainable scale have yet to bring about widespread toilet use. The limited extent to which sanitation projects have achieved social inclusivity among marginalized communities is recognized as a contributing to poor sanitation.