Nov. 19 is World Toilet Day. To help raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people without access to sanitation, thousands of people worldwide are going to squat for one minute during an event called “The Big Squat.”
Participation in The Big Squat is easy. Simply squat for one minute in a highly visible location, and then have a plan to explain to anyone who notices why you're all squatting. There are flyers available throughThe Big Squat Toolboxthat you can hand out. It gives all the details you need.
What is the relevance of squatting?According to event organizers, squatting is actually a very healthy bathroom stance, but it's also a symbol of the problems in the developing world, where a lack of sanitation forces people to squat in fields, on train tracks or in other open places. Open defecation is a major problem facing the developing world:
defecation spreads disease. With open defecation, people
accidentally create breeding grounds for disease. That's why 1.8 million people
die from fecally-transmitted diseases every year.
Open defecation hurts women the most.Open defecation threatens everyone, but women have further problems: In many developing countries, modesty forces women to defecate in fields before sunrise, or to hold it until after the sun sets. Many cases of rape occur in these dark and deserted areas.