Diseases that are spread through poor sanitation and dirty water are the fifth largest killer of women around the world, causing more women to die than diabetes, breast cancer or AIDS, say researchers.
Close to 800,000 women die each year due to lack of access to clean water and safe toilets, said WaterAid a development organization, that analyzed data from the research center Institute of Health Metrics in Seattle.
Barbara Frost the CEO at WaterAid said this unacceptable situation affected the girls and women’s education, their dignity, health and ultimately in too many instances resulted in needless and early death.
The only conditions that are more fatal for females than a lack of sanitation are lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive lung disease, stroke, and heart disease, according to this new report.
Over 1 billion women equal to one in every three women worldwide do not have proper access to a private toilet that is safe while over 370 million or 1 in 10 do not have proper access to safe water, according to the organization.
Over 2 billion people were able to gain access from 1990 to 2012 to clean water, but close to 750 million still lack what is recognized by the United Nations as a human right.
Poor sanitation and dirty water are the root of many problems such as child and maternal mortality as well as sexual violence.
Hundreds of thousands of women in countries that are still in development give birth in their home without any access to safe water, exposing them and their newborns to many infections.
Without toilets that are safe, women and girls must go outdoors and relieve themselves, often after dark, putting them at higher risk of assault and sexual harassment.
In addition, in a number of poorer countries fetching water is done by girls and women, who spend many hours every days trekking to and from the natural springs or wells, keeping them from going to school and care for their own families, while also putting them in harm’s way.