Gender Equality

There are no separate toilet and/or changing facilities available for men and women


The right to physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all aspects of life, is important. It should be safe, hygienic, secure, socially and culturally acceptable, and provide privacy and dignity. This is especially important for women, who have different sanitation requirements due to menstruation. Women who do not have access to separate facilities at work may be forced to forgo working hours and wages when menstruating. This can contribute to greater economic and gender inequalities.


A lack of separate toilet and/or changing facilities can increase the risk of sexual harassment and assault to women. There are also greater health risks for women who do not have access to proper facilities.


Employers are responsible for providing all employees with a safe workplace, including providing appropriate sanitation and changing facilities. Businesses must provide separate changing rooms and sanitation facilities for men and women. The number of facilities for men and women should be proportionate to the number of staff.


These facilities must be adequately ventilated, discreet and clean. The facilities should be partitioned to ensure privacy and include a receptacle for disposing of used sanitary products. Businesses should regularly review their current toilet and changing room facilities to ensure these standards are being met.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

UN Resolution, The human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, 2015 (A/RES/70/169), para. 2
ILO Hygiene (Commerce and Offices) Recommendation, 1964 (No. 120)
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979, Article 14



SDG 5.1

Businesses that provide separate toilets and changing facilities to staff contribute to achieving SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

SDG 5.2
By ensuring employees have access to separate facilities, businesses assist in achieving SDG 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.



SDG 6.2

In providing separate toilets and changing facilities to staff, businesses also assist in achieving SDG 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.