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Indian sanitation minister tells young women not to get married into families who don't own toilets

Indian Sanitation Minister Jairam Ramesh says "no toilet, no bride."

India toilets 2012 7 27Enlarge
Neighbours watch as recently-wed Priyanka Bharti, who left her marital home in protest due to the lack of toilets in the household, return to the residence of her in-laws at Vishnupur village in Maharaj Ganj. Three newly-wed brides who left their marital homes because of sanitation concerns were each rewarded with 200,000 rupees (3,500 USD) and the costruction of new toilets in their in-laws residences for taking a stand on sanitation in rural India. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

If you liked it then you should have put a bowl under it.

India's Rural Development and Water and Sanitation Minister Jairam Ramesh has urged single women to give men a toilet ultimatum. "Don't get married in a house where there is no toilet," he told women in a speech at the Khajuri village near Kota, NDTV reported.

"You consult the astrologers about rahu-ketu (planetary positions) to know about suitability of stars before getting married. You should also look whether there is a toilet at your groom's home before you decide to get married," he said, and cited the slogan "No toilet, no bride." He explained that defecation in the streets is a major problem in the area, and that access to toilets is necessary for women's dignity and safety. 

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Ramesh's remarks come about a week after he complained that India has more temples than toilets, drawing outrage and protests from right-wing Hindus, PTI reported

Despite the controversy, his words indeed reflect major toilet shortages across the country, especially for women. India's capital of Mumbai, for example, has only 132 public toilets for women, many of which don't even work, compared with 1,534 public toilets for men, according to a 2009 study. Worse is that women have to pay to use public restrooms, while men do not. The inequality lead activists to create a "Right to Pee" campaign for Indian women in April. 

In June, young bride Priyanka Bharti made headlines for fleeing her husband's home because there was no toilet and she refused to defecate outside. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/121022/indian-minister-tells-young-women-not-get-married-fa