Tag Archives: gender

The Perils of Writing about Toilets in India

The Perils of Writing about Toilets in India. IPSNews, November 6, 2016.

Journalist Stella Paul was midway through an interview about toilets when she found herself, and the women she was speaking to, under attack from four angry men.

“This man, he comes and he just grabs this woman by her hair and he starts dragging her on the ground and kicking her at the same time,” Paul told IPS.

She remembers thinking, “what is happening,” as another three men followed, beating the women, including Paul who was hit in the face.

“They are blindly just beating this woman.”

“Why? Because how dare you talk about getting a toilet when you are untouchable, you are Dalit.”

india

Paul interviews Dalit women in Hamirpur – a district in Northern India. All of these women have been abandoned by their husbands who fled to escape drought. Credit: Stella Paul / IPS.

The attack took place while Paul – a 2016 recipient of the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award and IPS contributor – was researching a story about women forced into dual slavery in illegal mines in South-East, India.

The women Paul was interviewing had been forced to work unpaid in the mines, but were trying to escape, some of them were attending school, and they had now found out they were potentially going to have their own toilet under a government sanitation scheme.

Read the complete article.

Understanding women’s decision making power and its link to improved household sanitation: the case of Kenya

Understanding women’s decision making power and its link to improved household sanitation: the case of Kenya. Jnl Wat San Hyg for Dev, Feb. 2016.

Authors: Mitsuaki Hirai, Jay P. Graham, John Sandberg

Women experience many motivational drivers for improving sanitation, but it is unclear how women’s role in household decision making affects whether a household opts for better sanitation. We analyzed the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008/2009 with a representative sample of 4,556 married and cohabiting women to examine the association between women’s decision making power in relation to that of partners and the type of sanitation facilities used by household members.

The independent effects of respondents’ education, employment status, and socioeconomic status on the type of sanitation facilities were also explored. The direct measurement of women’s ability to influence sanitation practice was not available. To address this problem, this study used proxy measures of women’s decision making power in the household.

The results of this study revealed that women’s decision making power for major household purchases was positively associated with households having better sanitation (p < 0.05). The findings suggest that increased gender equity could potentially have spillover effects that result in more households opting to improve their sanitation conditions.

 

Tackling the Taboo of Menstruation

In connection with last week’s WSSCC-UN Women side event on the Commission on the Status of Women, WSSCC Executive Director published a new blog on the Huffington Post. It begins:

“In 1995, global rights activists sent a powerful message about the urgent need for gender equality in political, civic, economic, cultural and social life. Two decades later, women and girls have made powerful strides in closing the gender gap.”

Read the full article at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-w-williams/tackling-the-taboo-of-men_b_6866158.html

2015-03-13-1426276247-2474559-36percentrarelygotoschoolduringmenstruation-thumb

Yes, hygiene and school enrolment are directly proportional

In Bangladesh, the lack of separate latrines for girls and menstrual hygiene facilities in secondary schools are major factors in the disproportionate rate of absence and dropout of adolescent girls.

Sabrina Shaidullah Sabrina Shahidullah

A study undertaken in Bangladesh revealed an 11 per cent increase in girls’ enrolment mainly due to the provision of sanitary toilets.” –Technical paper series/IRC

In Bangladesh the standard number of toilets in schools has been set as a minimum of one toilet for every 60 students. However, this is far from being achieved. The infographic below shows that on average, schools in Bangladesh have half the number of toilets required. However, although 94 per cent of schools have latrines within the compound, a large number remain unusable because they are dirty or broken.

BRAC WASH School Sanitation graph

Source: UNICEF WASH for school children South Asia Report, 2012

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#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)

Preventing violence linked to WASH: practitioners’ toolkit

WeCan Campaign poster used in an IDP camp in Batticoloa, Sri Lanka to help respond to and prevent violence against women

WeCan Campaign poster used in an IDP camp in Batticoloa, Sri Lanka to help respond to and prevent violence against women

Poorly designed and located water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions can increase people’s vulnerability to violence. This can range from sexual harassment when practicing open defecation or collecting water, to staff demanding sexual favours in exchange for access to WASH facilities.<

With this in mind, WaterAid/SHARE have published a toolkit  [1] to help practitioners make water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) safer for the most vulnerable.

The toolkit consists of briefing notes, a checklist of actions based on the ten key principles for reducing vulnerability to WASH-related violence, and a range of tools including case studies of good practice.  It is relevant for both humanitarian and development contexts. The materials also include videos, scenarios for training and tools for use with communities, key extracts from international human rights instruments and a folder of additional supporting information

Any actor working in humanitarian, development or transitional contexts can request free access to the materials by sending an email to gbv@wateraid.org.

[1] House, S., Ferron, S., Sommer, M. and Cavill, S. 2014. Violence, gender and WASH : a practitioner’s toolkit : making water, sanitation and hygiene safer through improved programming and services. London, UK, WaterAid/SHARE.

For more information:

  • House, S. et al., 2014. Violence, gender and WASH : a practitioner’s toolkit : making water, sanitation and hygiene safer through improved programming and services. Humanitarian exchange magazine, no. 60, February 2014. Available at: <http://washurl.net/5as6s3>
  • Violence and vulnerability: making WASH safe. Hygiene promotion in emergencies newsletter, no. 5, March 2014, Available at: <http://washurl.net/8k5b0a>
  • SHARE: Equity

In 2012 WaterAid America released “1 in 3“, a video highlighting the impact of the lack of sanitation on women.

Why women’s involvement in water and sanitation development is important

Women in WASH

Last week on March 8 was International Women’s Day (IWD). This year’s theme was “Inspiring Change”.  Four women inspiring change in the WASH sector came together during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, in September last year. They were Water For People’s Kate Fogelberg; IRC’s Vida Duti and Jane Nabunnya Mulumba, and Alice Bouman, President of the Women for Water Partnership. They talked about the role of women in the WASH sector.

Women leadership in WASH is needed and should be actively promoted. This was one of the main outcomes of the panel discussion on Women and WASH led by the four women mentioned above. The discussion highlighted the role of women leaders in WASH, the question of why more focus on the role of women is so important, and what lack of access to improved water and sanitation services means for women in rural areas in different country contexts.

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