Issue 91 | March 8, 2013 | Focus on Gender Issues
March 8, 2013, is International Women’s Day, a day that has been observed since the early 1900s. Gender is an important issue in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). In most societies women have the primary responsibility for managing the household water supply, sanitation, and health.
Water is necessary not only for drinking, but also for food production and preparation, care of domestic animals, personal hygiene, care of the sick, cleaning, washing, and waste disposal. A UN policy paper explains that because of their dependence on water, women have accumulated considerable knowledge about water resources, including location, quality, and storage methods. Despite this, women’s central role in water management is often overlooked.
“Men never come to collect water as it is a woman’s responsibility to provide water and prepare food”. Shanti Devi (35), Gopalpur Mushari, India
March 8th is International Women’s Day. WaterAid has launched a new promotional video “Transforming women’s lives” to highlight the impact their work has on women.
For more resources on women see WaterAid’s publications on Equity and Inclusion, the list of resources from the SHARE programme (search on women), the WSSCC thematic page on Gender and WASH and the latest publications on gender in the IRC WASH Library.
Impact evaluation of drinking water supply and sanitation programmes in rural Benin: The risk of vanishing effects, 2011.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB), the Netherlands in cooperation with BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).
During the period 2008–2010, the Evaluation Departments of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in cooperation with KfW Entwicklungsbank jointly conducted an impact evaluation of the rural water supply and sanitation programmes in Benin being supported by the donor community.
Some of the main findings:
1 – The provision of new water points leads to a substantial increase in the use of improved water points as the main source of drinking water, both during the dry season and the rainy season and both for non-poor and poor households. It also substantially increases the number of litres per capita per day collected, although poor and large households consume less per capita. Nevertheless, a considerable share of households continues to use traditional water sources, instead of or in addition to the newly installed water point.