An Indian woman can divorce her husband because he refused to install a toilet in their home, the BBC reports, with a judge in the northwestern state of Rajasthan finding on Friday that forced outdoor defecation is a form of torture and that the woman, who is in her 20s, has a right to a toilet.
The judgment noted that women in Indian villages often “wait until sunset to answer nature’s call. This is not only physical cruelty” but a violation of “the modesty of a woman,” per the Times of India. It can also be dangerous after dark.
Outdoor defecation in India is a major health threat that has prompted a government campaign to ensure an indoor toilet in every household by 2019.
The woman’s husband said an indoor toilet was not an issue when the couple married five years ago. But the woman’s lawyer said he refused repeated demands, prompting her to file for divorce two years ago. The judge noted that people spend money “buying tobacco, liquor and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family.”
SOURCE: Times of India