Tag Archives: gender

India: bride awarded US$ 10,000 for demanding toilet after marriage

Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh presents the Sulabh Sanitation Award to Anita Bai Narre. Photo: V. Sudershan / The Hindu

A young woman who sparked a “sanitation revolution” in her village by forcing her husband to build a toilet in their home has been presented with a cheque for 500,000 Rupees (US$ 10,000).

Anita Narre of Chichouli village of Betul district in Madhya Pradesh received the award from Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, on behalf of Sulabh International.

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India, Delhi: how sexual violence against women is linked to water and sanitation

Girls under ten being have been raped while on their way to use a public toilet, say women living in Delhi’s slums. In one slum, boys hid in toilet cubicles at night waiting to rape those who entered. These are some of the incidents mentioned in a recent briefing note based on research supported by WaterAid and the DFID-funded SHARE (Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity).

The link between a lack of access to water and sanitation facilities and sexual violence against women is not well known and to date has received insufficient attention. The briefing note highlights this link within the context of urban slums in Delhi, and suggests how this problem can be addressed.

Lennon, S. 2011. Fear and anger : perceptions of risks related to sexual violence against women linked to water and sanitation in Delhi, India. (SHARE briefing note). London, UK, SHARE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 15 p. Available at: www.shareresearch.org/Resource/Details/violenceagainstwomen_india

Dear Congress: Support Rural Women by Lisa Schechtman

March 8, 2012 – Dear Congress: Support Rural Women | Source – Lisa Schechtman – Global Policy TV - Lisa Schechtman is the head of policy and advocacy at WaterAid in America, the U.S. member of WaterAid International, the world’s largest NGO focused on providing safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) services for poor communities in 27 countries around the world. 

Imagine being a girl growing up in a village in sub-Saharan Africa. There’s a good chance there is no well in your village, and your nearest source of water is a river or a stream that is as many as three miles away over what might be rocky, isolated terrain.

The water may not be safe to drink, because your village probably also lacks sanitation facilities, but it’s your only choice.

So, instead of going to school, you spend at least 30 minutes a day, often longer, walking to the river, filling jerry cans, and struggling home with over 40 pounds on your head. You risk stumbling, animal attacks, sexual assault. At last you get home, and, while you have water to drink, it makes you sick and leaves you caring for family members who are also sick. It doesn’t matter though: you have to do it all over again the next day—and every day after that.Sadly, this is not the only harm that comes from your basic need for water. Carrying heavy loads can lead to uterine prolapse, a potentially serious and excruciating condition that may result in the inability to ever have children safely.If you or a family member is living with HIV/AIDS, you need extra water to keep things clean and hopefully stave off infections that kill people with compromised immune systems. That means more trips to the river, more time away from school or work.

WASHplus Weekly – Gender Considerations for WASH

Issue 46 March 8, 2012 | Gender Considerations for WASH and IAP

Thursday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. This issue of the WASHplus Weekly contains recent resources that discuss gender issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene and the prevention of indoor air pollution. Also included are more general resources such as the recently published World Bank Development Report 2012 on gender and equity and the March 2012 USAID Gender Policy Paper.

Menstrual hygiene: breaking the silence

International Women’s Day 2012 – Menstrual hygiene: breaking the silence

Source: Belen Toronde | March 1, 2012

Belen Torondel is a microbiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is conducting a systematic review of evidence regarding menstrual hygiene management for SHARE a consortium researching sanitation and hygiene solutions. The opinions expressed are her own. 

Women lash themselves with the leaves of the Aghada plant along the banks of the Bagmati River, during the Rishi Panchami festival, in Kathmandu September 2, 2011. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Menstruation is a major part of life for millions of young girls and women worldwide. On average, a woman will menstruate for 3,000 days during her lifetime.

However, the needs and challenges faced by many young women and girls as they struggle to manage their menstrual hygiene are largely ignored, especially in developing countries. This situation persists despite new developments in the hygiene and sanitation sector in recent years.

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Rose George – Dirty little secret: the loo that saves lives in Liberia

Diarrhoea kills more children than HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined – and its main cause is food and water contaminated with human waste. Liberia’s president is trying to change all that.

For the worst country in the world, Liberia looks lush. All along the long road to Fish Town, the sumptuous rainforest on either side is a comfort, a green bath to soothe the dreadful red dust that is constant and the potholes that cause nose-bleeds, head-bumps and nausea even in this well-cushioned Toyota Land Cruiser belonging to WaterAid. We are scrunched into this car for days, because that’s how long it takes to get to Fish Town, only a few hours from Liberia’s capital Monrovia if you’re a crow, but 36 hours otherwise, because the country has only one decent main road.

Not just a flash in the pan: President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is on a mission to educate her people about the link between early mortality and bad sanitation. Photograph: Aubrey Wade for the Guardian

To get there, we must loop north, brushing the border with Guinea, before swooping back down to a town that isn’t much of a town, the joke goes, and doesn’t have much fish. But it’s busy these days because NGO 4x4s such as ours are zooming through on their way to help refugees escaping from Ivory Coast, the latest poor sods in this region to be kicked out of their country by war.

We, though, are not zooming towards refugees but towards something far less newsworthy. It is my sixth visit to Liberia. The first was in 2004, six months into the country’s first peace in 20 years. Liberia had suffered years of stunningly brutal civil wars, orchestrated largely by Charles Taylor, now on trial in the Hague for war crimes (a man who once sued a journalist for saying he had eaten a human heart, and lost); and by other warlords with names such as General Butt Naked, General Peanut Butter and Devil. And this war’s stories were more horrific than most: mass rape; boy soldiers kept going by drugs, looting and raping; parents killed by their own boys; checkpoints made from intestines. Imagine the worst and, if you looked, you’d find it here doubled.

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Learning Fund – Menstrual Hygiene Management

Menstrual Hygiene Management, Learning Fund.

Menstrual hygiene management has long been taboo in many countries. During the learning events, participants talked about their efforts to break the silence, working with women and girls to ensure menstrual hygiene management needs are addressed through WASH programs.

Messages for WASH Sustainability

  • Menstrual hygiene management is a critical aspect of WASH service provision and needs to be considered and discussed in a sensitive manner with communities and partners during project planning.
  • Talking directly with adolescent girls and female teachers to understand their needs and preferences is essential when designing facilities for schools.
  • There are opportunities to support small enterprise providing affordable locally made menstrual hygiene management products, generating income while providing essential services for women.

Assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene and sanitation programme on pupil absence

Tropical Medicine & International Health, December 2011

Assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene and sanitation programme on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya: a cluster-randomized trial

Matthew C. Freeman, Leslie E. Greene, et al.

Objectives  There has been increased attention to access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at schools in developing countries, but a dearth of empirical studies on the impact. We conducted a cluster-randomized trial of school-based WASH on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya, from 2007 to 2008.

Methods  Public primary schools nested in three geographical strata were randomly assigned and allocated to one of three study arms [water treatment and hygiene promotion (WT & HP), additional sanitation improvement, or control] to assess the effects on pupil absence at 2-year follow-up.

Results  We found no overall effect of the intervention on absence. However, among schools in two of the geographical areas not affected by post-election violence, those that received WT and HP showed a 58% reduction in the odds of absence for girls (OR 0.42, CI 0.21–0.85). In the same strata, sanitation improvement in combination with WT and HP resulted in a comparable drop in absence, although results were marginally significant (OR 0.47, 0.21–1.05). Boys were not impacted by the intervention.

Conclusion  School WASH improvements can improve school attendance for girls, and mechanisms for gendered impacts should be explored. Incomplete intervention compliance highlights the challenges of achieving consistent results across all settings.

Access full article here.

Water shortages impede hygiene for Nepalese women

Dec 13, 2011, By Teresa Rehman, Alertnet

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AlertNet) – On the fourth day of her menstrual cycle, Belkumari Paudiyal hikes for more than 20 minutes to the river below her village. She ties a petticoat round her chest and takes a cleansing bath, which signals that her life will resume as normal.

A woman washes clothes at Baidam Lake in Pokhara province, south west of Kathmandu, March 16, 2009. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

When Paudiyal, 37, is menstruating, custom demands that she be isolated from her family, and refrain from entering the kitchen, touching food or offering prayers.

“I prefer to walk down to the river as it provides some privacy to clean myself,” says Paudiyal, a resident of Paudiyalthok in Nepal’s picturesque Panchkhal Valley. “Otherwise there is the common tap which has no enclosed space. Trekking all the way to the river is the only solution.”

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Pakistan, Karachi: sanitation, more than just household latrines

This moving anecdote illustrates how the lack of public toilet affects women in Pakistan. It was posted as a comment to an article in newspaper Dawn about the release in Pakistan of WaterAid’s report “Off-track, off-target: Why investment in water, sanitation and hygiene is not reaching those who need it most”.

Besides 48 million Pakistanis who defecated in the open, there are millions of women in big cities who have no place to go to when out of their homes. Pakistani women are shoppers, they spend hours in bazaars where there are few public toilets for men, and most certainly, none for women. I experienced an incident sometime ago, and also sent the story to Jung newspaper; they published it under the heading “Vo auwrat”, but nothing was done about it. I was approached by a young boy hardly 5-6 years old near Empress Market who asked me where the toilet was. I stopped and looked around and saw a young woman in burka sitting on her heels near the wall on the footpath with tears in her eyes, and she covered her face when she saw me looking at her. I did nothing, I could do nothing, I just walked away. People who have been to the Empress Market know that nothing could be done to help that poor lady. How many women go through that agony in Pakistan, everyday, I don’t know.

Source: Agha Ata, comment posted 20 Nov 2011 on “Causing a Stink”, Dawn, 19 Nov 2011