Bathing Spaces for women in rural areas

The absence of bathing spaces for women and its impact on their lives was studied and has been highlighted to be a major issue for rural women. Field works were conducted in seven districts i.e. in Bokaro, Gaya, Mayurbhanj, Raygada, Pune, Udaipur, Rajsamand and Jhadol districts respectively covering the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan. It was found that limited access to an immediate water source at home posed a major challenge for bathing and other purposes. In places where water availability was scarce, travelling with water for purposes other than household needs was a tedious and avoidable task. The situation was more or less same in places where water is abundant as women preferred to take bath in the pond or near hand pumps itself. In almost all cases there were no secluded bathrooms at home. In spite of feeling uncomfortable and insecure, they did not complain or were unaware of the grave health risks that bathing in the open can lead to. Maintaining hygiene was observed to be a secondary or poorly understood issue.