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.