We can't wait: A report on sanitation and hygiene for women and girls (2013)

Thumbnail WSSCC/Saskia Castelein

It's 2013 and there are still 2.5 billion people without access to adequate sanitation. We Can’t Wait makes it clear that governments, civil society and business must work together to improve the health and prosperity of women worldwide.

The report was presented at a UN event in New York in November 2013, celebrating the first official World Toilet Day. The day serves to remind the world that over 2.5 billion people lack access to an adequate toilet, with devastating consequences in particular for the wellbeing, health, education and empowerment of women and girls worldwide. 

The report puts forward a number of recommendations including:

  • Governments (of both developing and donor countries) make strengthening the sanitation sector and bringing the Millennium Development Goal target on sanitation back on track an immediate and urgent political priority.
  • Governments across the world keep their promises and implement the commitments made at national, regional and global level.
  • The post-2015 development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals needs to address water, sanitation and hygiene as priority issues.
  • Sanitation should be integrated into education policy supported by sufficient resources and concrete plans.
  • More actors in the private sector must realise the social and business opportunities and invest in social development. More frequent and cross-sector collaboration is essential to achieving real progress.

The report has been produced by WaterAid, the UN-hosted organisation Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, and Unilever’s leading toilet brand Domestos.


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