Indian women claim 'Right to Pee'

June 14, 2012 at 4:10 PM
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MUMBAI, June 14 (UPI) -- Women in India, assailing the lack of public toilets available to them, have begun a Right to Pee Campaign, a report said Thursday.

The humorous slogan, coined by the Mumbai, India, media, masks the dependence of the population on public restrooms, and the imbalance of men's rooms to those available to women, The New York Times said Thursday.

A government study indicated the public sanitation system of the city, whose population is 20 million, offers 5,993 toilets and 2,466 urinals to men, and only 3,536 toilets to women, and a 2009 study in New Delhi, the capital, said the ratio of men-to-women public conveniences was 1,534 to 132.

Activists like Minu Gandhi said the restroom disparity amounts to discrimination, and have suggested women begin demanding their right to equal access.

"We all feel this is a basic civic right, a human right," she said.

The newspaper added that Mumbai's toilets are generally located in dark and unclean buildings, and operate as male-controlled outposts, with a male attendant often collecting fees for toilet use, but not for urinals.

After several months of campaigning by social activists, city officials and local legislators have vowed to step up construction of women-only restrooms, the newspaper said.

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