A woman in Madagascar stands by one of the new latrines in her village. Alison Bradley/Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council
September 25, 2015 1:36 PM ET
When a village doesn’t have latrines, several problems predictably follow.
Diseases like cholera and infectious diarrhea are rampant, thanks to the flies, water and livestock that spread bacteria from uncovered feces to humans.
Another, less publicized problem has to do with women and their periods. Women are often left with nowhere to go to deal with the private — and, for young teenagers, potentially embarrassing — matter of their monthly bleed.
The world pays a lot of attention to the first problem. And not so much to the second problem. But it turns out that when a village solves the open defecation issue, women benefit too.