Researchers say that diseases spread through dirty water and poor sanitation are the fifth biggest killer of women worldwide, causing more deaths than AIDS, breast cancer or diabetes.
The development organization Water Aid Nearly 800,000 said that more women die every year due to lack of access to safe toilets and clean potable water, said, which analyzed data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics research center.
WaterAid CEO Barbara Frost said in a statement “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 demise,”
According to the report, heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are the only medical conditions more deadly for women than the lack of decent sanitation.
While 370 million – one in 10 – do not have access to clean water, according to WaterAid, and more than 1 billion women, or one in three women around the world, do not have access to a safe and private toilet.
Nearly 750 million remain still lack what the United Nations recognizes as a human right and more than 2 billion people gained access to clean water between 1990 and 2012, but dirty water and poor sanitation are considered to be the root of problems such as maternal and child mortality and sexual violence.
Many women in 3rd world and developing countries give birth at home without access to clean water, exposing themselves and their babies to high risk of infections.
With limited and no access to safe toilets, women and girls have to venture outdoors to relieve themselves, often at night, putting them at risk of sexual harassment and assault and rape.
Moreover, in many poor countries fetching water is considered a the responsibility of women and girls, who spend hours each day trekking to and from wells, keeping them from attending school or caring for their families.