A Study of Bathing Practices among Rural Women in Three districts of Rajasthan

International Conference on Advances in English Studies, Women Empowerment, Business, Humanities & Social Sciences, Carmel College, Goa, 2017

Abstract:  Till today women in rural India do not have access to secure and private bathing space. As a result, they are forced to take bath in the open. In such situations, their ability to bathe properly gets strictly restricted. They bathe fully clothed, often taking cover behind a rock. In these circumstances, they are unable to clean themselves properly and maintenance of hygiene gets seriously compromised. This not only leads to social awkwardness but also causes various kind of bacterial and fungal infections. It is a sad truth that in-spite of acknowledging the ill effects of bathing in the open, no concrete action has ever been taken towards it. While on one hand, the construction of toilets are going on in full swing, on the other this problem of no bathrooms has been highly neglected in the development sphere. Thus, this situation of bathing in the open has emerged as an area which needs to be further explored, to understand the conditions in which women bathe and the consequences which they face due to it. In this approach, a study was conducted in three districts of Rajasthan to study the bathing practices followed by the rural women in that region. Simple Random sampling was used to select women in villages. The data was collated and analyzed manually. It was seen that a majority of the women felt discomfort and insecure while bathing in the open. Though most women realized the importance of bathrooms, financial restraints and lack of water did not allow them to construct bathrooms in their houses.