Indian woman divorces husband for not providing a toilet

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A woman has reportedly divorced her husband on the grounds of cruelty after he failed to provide a toilet at their home.

The 24-year-old woman was granted divorce by a family court in the north western state of Rajasthan, after it ruled her husband’s failure to provide facilities was “cruelty” akin to “outraging the modesty of a woman.”

It is the first divorce case of its kind for the country, according to the Times of India. 

The husband was said to have ignored his wife’s repeated requests to build facilities, forcing her to wait until dusk before going out into the fields to relieve herself. 

“We spend money on buying tobacco, liquor and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family,” the court said, according to the Times. 

“In villages, women have to wait until sunset to answer nature’s call. This is not only physical cruelty but also outraging the modesty of a woman.”

Sixty per cent of Indians not have access to  private toilets and 140,000 Indian children under five die each year due to diarrhoea, a 2015 WaterAid study reported. 

This is despite a government campaign to improve sanitation. Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission aims for every household to have a toilet by 2019.  

Women in India have been known to refuse marriage if a toilet is not provided. According to Channel NewsAsia, last year a woman refused to marry her fiancé after he failed to build her a toilet. 


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