Diseases spread through poor sanitary conditions and dirty water are the fifth biggest reason for the cause of deaths of women all over the globe, beating the number of deaths caused by breast cancer or AIDS, according to researchers.
800,000 women die each year due to lack of access to clean water and safe water, says the development organization WaterAid, after analyzing the data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics research center.
“This completely unacceptable situation affects women and girls’ education, their health, their dignity and ultimately, in too many cases, results in an early and needless death,” WaterAid CEO Barbara Frost said in a statement.
The only conditions more fatal for women than the lack of decent sanitation are heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the report.
More than a billion women, or one in every three women around the world are not having any access to a private and safe toilet, which 370 million or one in every ten women do not have access to clean water, says WaterAid.
Despite of what the United Nations see as a human right, nearly 750 million people lack such facilities even though more than 2 billion people had access to clean water between 1990 and 2012.
Dirty water and poor sanitation are at the root of problems such as maternal and child mortality, and sexual violence.
Many women in developing countries give birth at home without access to clean water, exposing themselves and their babies to infections.
Without private toilets or clean water, women and girls are left with no choice but to venture outdoors for relieving themselves, but also putting themselves to risk by making them more vulnerable to social evils such as sexual harassment and assault.