Tag Archives: gender

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH and Gender

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.washplus-weekly

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.

International Women’s Day in Asia: celebrating women in sanitation

In a new video, Mayadevi and Kaman (Nepal),  Toan and Thinh (VietNam) and  Tshering, Drukda, Tashi and Deschen (Bhutan) share stories about women’s participation, leadership and their changing roles in promoting sanitation and hygiene in  Nepal, Bhutan and Viet Nam.

The video is from SNV’s Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All Programme (SSH4A), which has been implemented by local governments and partners in 17 districts across Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia since 2008. It aims to provide one million people with access to improved hygiene and sanitation facilities by the end of 2015. As the approach aims at addressing access to sanitation for all, addressing gender issues and inequalities is key.

SSH4A is a partnership between SNV, the Governments of the Netherlands, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia in Asia and the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre with support from AusAID and DFID.

Learn more about SSH4A at www.snvworld.org/node/3779 and www.irc.nl/ssh4a

In Bangladesh, IRC is supporting BRAC  to measure behavioural change in the   BRAC  WASH II programme. Christine Sijbesma of IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and Mahjabeen Ahmed of the BRAC share their thoughts and experiences with monitoring sanitation and hygiene behaviour of women in the programme in a recent blog post [1].

The QIS monitoring system that is being used gives special attention to gender and sanitation. First because many of the indicators differentiate between women and men. Secondly because data collection for each sample is duplicated by a male and a female monitoring team.  Interestingly, preliminary results show that virtually all the male and female monitoring teams members gave the same scores for the gender indicators.

[1] Bangladeshi women catch up on sanitation, IRC, 08 March 2013

Transforming women’s lives: WaterAid video for International Women’s Day

“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.

Call for Information and Participation: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Gender Based Violence

WaterAid is creating a practitioner’s best practice resource to help reduce gender based violence (GBV) related to sanitation, hygiene and water (WASH) in development, humanitarian and transitional contexts. The team is interested to be in contact with any organisation or individual who has material or experience to contribute to the resource; and/or may be interested to co-publish the outputs. The research is being funded by the SHARE Consortium.

The research team are keen to hear from anyone who is interested to contribute to the resource by:

  • Identifying what information / elements would be particularly useful to your organisation
  • Sharing case studies of GBV and WASH; from experience, or from existing documentation
  •  Sharing examples of good practice on programming in relation to GBV and WASH, or examples of programming from other sectors and GBV which could be transferrable to WASH programming or the training of sector professionals
  •  Sharing good practice on ways to respond to incidences of GBV in low-income contexts, including any examples of processes where WASH professionals have engaged with protection or GBV professionals

To contribute to the research, for further information or to receive the final outputs of the research please contact (copying in both email addresses):

Related web site: WaterAid – Gender

Impact evaluation of drinking water supply and sanitation programmes in rural Benin

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.

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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