When we discuss solutions to ensuring more children can go to school, not many people think about toilets. But the availability of toilets can encourage children, especially girls, to go to school and remain in the school system.
The lack of proper toilets in schools threatens the education of millions of children in the developing world, who are at risk of getting sick due to poor hygiene, and subsequently miss school. The risks are even higher for girls.
A barrier to girls’ education
In developing countries, the lack of separate toilets for girls and boys is among the top barriers to girls’ education. When a girl reaches puberty, access to a separate toilet can be the decisive factor of whether she continues with her education.
When girls are menstruating, they need access to a water point and to have a place where they can dispose of their pads. Without this, girls may miss up to 5 days of school every month or worse, drop out of school completely.