SIGN THE PETITION Say yes to public toilets for women!
What makes a good public toilet?
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Which toilet would you use?

Men

Women

For every 100 toilets for women Hyderabad, there are 233 for men. And then there are urinals, many of them free, exclusively meant for men. Other Indian cities have a similar distribution too.
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How much would you pay to use a urinal?

Nothing

1-2 Rupees

More than 2 Rupees

Men pay more for latrines and less for urinals. There is no such thing as a women's urinal.
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How much would you to pay to use a latrine?

Nothing

1-5 Rupees

More than 5 Rupees

For poor women, paying the same amount for urinals as for latrines, is a huge burden.
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Which of these are essential?
(You can check multiple options.)

Running Water

Mugs and Buckets

Flush System

Wash Basin

Dust Bin

None of the above

Men can pee anywhere. Women cannot! They need to feel secure, safe and private.
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Which of these would you prefer?
(You can check multiple options.)

Separate compartments for men and women

One compartment but separate rooms

Unisex toilets

Exclusive toilets for your gender

Toilet without an attendant

Privacy and safety are important for women. They will not use a toilet that is not safe and private, except in dire need. They would rather hold it in !
This is a map of the unjust distribution of toilets for men and women. Switch tabs to see what it looks like for someone else.
(The size of the dots indicates the number of toilet seats available.)
  • Men
  • Women
  • Full Map

We want a city where women have adequate access to clean, safe and affordable public toilets. DON'T HOLD IT IN is a campaign to make your voice heard.

We want a city where women do not have to hold their bladders. DON'T HOLD IT IN is a campaign to talk about women's sanitation woes.

Talking about inhibitions and constraints will force us to think about how to build such cities. DON'T HOLD IT IN is a website that brings together four elements: STORIES of different women's experiences with sanitation, reflections on UNANSWERED QUESTIONS of gender and sanitation, a collection of web RESOURCES along similar themes, and a TOOLKIT with the Hyderabad toilet database and a guide on conducting an audit.

The slogan "Don't hold it In" is meant to work in two different registers. First, the condition of most of our public toilets (where they are available) is such that women are often forced to hold all body fluids in for long hours until they return to their homes or risk physical harm and shame. Second, precisely because of the shame associated with this, women find it difficult to talk about the appalling conditions of toilets meant for them.
Our final aim is to overcome constraints to build clean, safe and accessible public toilets. But first, we want to overcome the inhibitions against talking about toilets for women. We want to make it possible to design public spaces where women don't have to hold in their bladders and their sanitation woes.
Change is not going to come from just talking and writing. Most certainly the onus of changing the situation is not on women. But talking about inhibitions and constraints will open up new possibilities.
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