Divya is a young IT graduate who moved to Kathmandu four years ago from Tilottama Municipality to pursue higher education. During her college years, and till date as she moves around the city, she has faced various challenges while using public toilets and now is fully prepared when she ventures out. She carries sanitary napkins, tissues, wet wipes, and a hand sanitiser in cases of emergencies. This she learned the hard way.
She recalls a time when she was menstruating and was out in Basantapur with her friends. She needed to visit a restroom urgently. She found one but had to wait for 15 minutes queuing up to use it and even after the wait came to an end, the facility had no water, nor a dustbin to dispose sanitary pad.
She is also wary of non-gender segregated public toilets and thinks twice before using such facilities where female users have to share with males. She does not feel safe using such facilities. Divya feels public toilets have to be in other areas besides those visited by tourists. She says, “I wouldn’t ask for much – just clean toilets, availability of water and tissues, and a place to dispose sanitary napkins. If all public toilets focused only on these, I believe it would help women a lot”.
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