Lack Of Toilet Is Cruelty, Says Indian Court, As It Grants Woman’s Divorce Petition

by Kim Boateng Posted on August 20th, 2017

Ajmer, India: A 24-year-old woman has divorced her husband for not constructing a toilet at home. She also had to wait until dusk to go out to the fields to relieve herself, which she felt undermined her dignity. On friday, a family court in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara in granting the divorce said the absence of a toilet at home amounted to “cruelty” against the wife  akin to “outraging the modesty of a woman“.

Married in 2011, the woman went to the court in 2015, saying that despite repeated requests, her husband didn’t construct a toilet or bathroom at home, forcing her to defecate and bathe in the open.

She also had to wait until dusk to go out to the fields to relieve herself, which she felt undermined her dignity. But her husband said he found his wife’s demand for a toilet unusual as most women in his village defecate in the open. The woman’s family hadn’t raised the issue of toilet construction at the time of marriage, he alleged. Treating the absence of a toilet at home as “cruelty” akin to “outraging the modesty of a woman”, as she is compelled to defecate in the open, the court allowed the marriage to be dissolved, two years after she had filed the divorce petition.


Photo: Woman divorces husband for not constructing toilet In India

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

The development comes at a time when the Indian government is running a crusade against open defecation under the `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.

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Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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