The first of a new series of modern, sanitary and safe toilets for women was launched in Dhaka on Thursday, under the slogan “Healthy women, healthy city”.

The first toilet was officially inaugurated by renowned actress and architect Aupee Karim on the third floor of Noor Mansion in Gawsia Market.

Brac Director of Innovation Dr Foysol Chowdhury was also present along with leading business owners from the area.
To ensure security, two female members of staff will be available all day. In addition, a cleaner will always be on duty. The facilities will be open from 10am to 9pm and individuals will be charged a Tk10 fee.

According to a BRAC press release, only the best materials have been used for the toilets to maintain cleanliness and prevent waterlogging. With funding of around Tk500,000 from Brac, a social enterprise called Bhumijo has implemented the pilot project.

Aupee Karim said: “Being able to participate in such a unique initiative gives me great joy. I hope that the women who are using and those who are maintaining this facility remain properly accountable.”
“Brac has been working on women’s rights and safety for a long time, with support from different communities,” said Foysol Chowdhury.

The organisers said that 32 locations have been chosen to build similar facilities keeping various factors in mind. The locations includeNew Market, Farm Gate, Moghbazar, Malibagh, Mouchak, Uttara and Mirpur.

Bhumijo’s Co-Founder Farhana Rashid mentioned that a survey revealed that 80% women did not drink water before leaving their homes out of fear from using public toilets. Further research also revealed that Dhaka city will need three thousand more toilets by 2020.