Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

#WorldToiletDay seminar: sanitation for improved lives of women and children

Sida-WaterAid-WTD-Seminar

Sida and WaterAid are organising a seminar on 19 November 2014, World Toilet Day, in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Inspirational Morning Seminar on The Relevance of Sanitation and Hygiene in Addressing Children’s and Women’s Health & Rights will be held at Sida’s headquarters from 08.30-12.00.

The seminar aims to raise awareness about the taboos and difficulties surrounding sanitation specifically as it relates to health and for example girls’ and women’s menstrual hygiene management  (MHM).

The seminar moderators are Ana Gren and Johan Sundberg.

Speakers include:

  • Archana Patkar – Presentation of WSSCC – MHM Relevance, program approaches, Reflections, need for innovation, recommendations how to best address the problem
  • Robert Chambers – WASH, Women and Children: from blind spots to core concerns?
  • Jenny Fredby, WaterAid, Sanitation and hygiene for children’s and women’s health, approaches, reflections and recommendations for SDGs

The seminar will close with a discussion followed by a joint pledge to “Break the silence, Be proud – Don’t be shy, Tell your friends”.

Register before 14 November on the Sida web site.

10:55 – 11:50 Joint discussion for all participants; the discussion will be fuelled by discussion engines: Experts in DEMO & HR, Health, Governance, Research – SIWI, SEI, SanWatPUA, Sida

11.50 – 12.00 Closure – Take the pledge! – Break the silence, Be proud – Don’t be shy, Tell your friends (Sida & WaterAid)

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Human Rights

Issue 162 | Sept 19, 2014 | Focus on WASH & Human Rights

This issue highlights the just-published handbook on WASH and human rights by Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Also included are studies from the UNC Water Institute; Human Rights Watch; fact sheets and position statements from the UN and UNICEF; country reports from the DRC, Haiti, and South Africa; and links to relevant websites.

Realising the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Handbook, 2014. C de Albuquerque. (Link)
This handbook is the product of six years of work by the first UN special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. It explains the meaning and legal obligations that arise from these rights, translating the often complex technical and legal language into accessible information. The target audiences for this handbook are governments at all levels, donors, and national regulatory bodies. It provides information that will also be useful to other local, regional, and international stakeholders, including civil society, service providers, and human rights organizations.

Fact Sheet on the Right to Water, n.d. United Nations. | Arabic | English | French |Spanish
The roots of the current water and sanitation crisis can be traced to poverty, inequality, and unequal power relationships, and it is exacerbated by social and environmental challenges: accelerating urbanization, climate change, and increasing pollution and depletion of water resources. To address this crisis, the international community has increasingly recognized that access to safe drinking water and sanitation must be considered within a human rights framework.

Translating the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into Public Policy Reform.Science and Engineering Ethics, Jan 2014. B Meier. (Link)
The development of a human right to water and sanitation under international law has created an imperative to implement human rights in water and sanitation policy. Through 43 interviews with informants in international institutions, national governments, and NGOs, this research examines interpretations of this new human right on global governance, national policy, and local practice.

Continue reading

Uganda – 1st National Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014

The theme of the conference was Break the Silence on Menstruation, Keep the Girls in School. menstruation_health_book-2

Author: Netwas Uganda

The conference had 4 objectives; a) to raise awareness on the impact of poor menstrual management, b) advocate for policy review, c) develop strategies for operationalizing existing policy, d) demonstrate sustainable good practices on menstrual management. The overall aim was to explore how best the School Health Policy can ensure girls get all the support they need to complete school and reach their full potential.

#CleanUpIndia: #Sanitation “All Stars” discuss plans to make India #opendefecation free

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up sanitation as a special cause. He would like to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019 by declaring India open defecation free. A noble goal, but is it realistic? The political will and financial commitment is there but can the shift in mindset from building infrastructure to behaviour change and ensuring toilet use and safe disposal be made?

As part of its #CleanUpIndia initiative, TV channel CNN – Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN – IBN) invited an “all star” cast of sanitation celebrities to discuss the Swach Bharat or Clean India campaign that Modi intends to launch in October 2014. What do they think needs to be done to clean up India for good?

In the line up are:

and invited guests:

Rose George – What is life like when your period means you are shunned by society?

What is life like when your period means you are shunned by society? by Rose George, WaterAid Blog, July 2014 |

Journalist Rose George reports on her visit to WaterAid Nepal, where she saw the impact of menstrual taboos on women and girls.

Excerpts – For Radha dinner is served at 7. She crouches down behind a shed, a good distance from her house, then waits.

She knows what the menu will be: boiled rice, the same as yesterday and the day before. She knows that it will be her little sister who serves it, throwing the rice onto her plate from a height, the way you would feed a dog.

Radha Bishwa Karma serving food behind the toilet. Credit: WaterAid/Poulomi Basu

Radha Bishwa Karma serving food behind the toilet.
Credit: WaterAid/Poulomi Basu

In Jamu, Radha’s village in western Nepal, her status is lower than a dog’s, because she is menstruating.

She is only 16, yet, for the length of her period, Radha can’t enter her house or eat anything but boiled rice. She can’t touch other women – not even her grandmother or sister – because her touch will pollute them. If she touches a man or a boy, he will start shivering and sicken.

If she eats butter or buffalo milk, the buffalo will sicken too and stop milking. If she enters a temple or worships at all, her gods will be furious and take their revenge, by sending snakes or some other calamity.

Here, menstruation is dirty, and a menstruating girl is a powerful, polluting thing. A thing to be feared and shunned.

 

WEDC – Menstruation hygiene management for schoolgirls

Menstruation hygiene management for schoolgirls, 2014.

Author: Tracey Crofts, WEDC.

This guide outlines the problems experienced by menstruating schoolgirls in low-income countries. Although its focus is predominantly sub-Saharan Africa, many of the issues raised are relevant to girls in most low-income countries, although there may be differences in popular practice and beliefs. Menstrual-hygiene-on-line-8

The guide also evaluates simple solutions to these problems including the use of low-cost sanitary pads, and suggests ways in which menstruation hygiene management (MHM) can be included in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes.

Registration open for AfricaSan 4

AfricaSan web logo

AfricaSan 4 is being held on October 8-10 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. The website is now up and running and registration is open: www.africasan.com

AfricaSan 4 continues the AfricaSan tradition, building on approaches that have worked. It is essentially a political meeting seeking to raise the priority of sanitation amongst the new generation of san leaders. The timing is AfricaSan 4 is fortuitous both as the last AfricaSan meeting to assess progress against the MDGs; as well as being well-positioned to build momentum on sanitation and hygiene for the SDGs.

The theme of AfricaSan 4 “Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa” responds to the visionary ideals of a new generation of Africa’s sanitation ministers. It sets the bar high so that the highly successful eThekwini commitment process can consider a new set of targets and indicators to help accelerate progress towards universal coverage.

The AfricaSan 4 theme not only concerns itself with sanitation access. It seeks to address the full sanitation value chain (containment, emptying, transport, treatment, disposal and reuse). Moreover it also focuses on a full sanitation ladder of access, including making Africa open-defecation free. By sanitation is also implied hygiene: AfricaSan 4 will host a specific discussion on how to accelerate good hygiene behaviour change.

AfricaSan 4 has also had a strong regional and country process leading up to the Dakar meeting. Led by the chair of AMCOW’s AfricaSan Task Force Subcommittee, WSP, countries have engaged in three substantial sub-regional meetings in which countries have been involved in a peer-to-peer exchange on progress and sector bottlenecks in country action plans. Progress on country action plans and against the eThekwini commitments have been mapped and the results will be presented at AfricaSan 4. A feature of this preparatory process was the conscious effort to align the different sanitation sector monitoring processes in Africa.

Get in engaged with this important opportunity for sanitation in Africa, share this post with your colleagues who may be interested and come to Dakar!

Piers CrossBest wishes,

Piers Cross
AMCOW Lead Advisor on AfricaSan