Tag Archives: Violence

Why Invisible Power and Structural Violence Persist in the Water Domain

Why Invisible Power and Structural Violence Persist in the Water Domain. IDS Bulletin, Home > Vol 47, No 5 (2016)

Author: Lyla Mehta

This article argues that inequality in access to water and sanitation is largely caused and legitimised by different forms of invisible power that prevent universal access. It shows how invisible power combined with structural violence and experiences of unequal citizenship result in dismal access to water that cause systematic harm to poor and marginalised women and men.

The article also argues that invisible power and other forms of power imbalance have ended up naturalising water inequalities around the world. While the inalienable universality of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their focus on inequality must be celebrated, unless the power imbalances that perpetuate inequality are tackled head on by both policymakers and activists, the SDGs will not achieve social justice.

It is thus important for both the sufferers of water injustices as well as water justice advocates to challenge structural violence and invisible power in the water domain.

 

Higher incidents of rape in India linked to open defecation

Higher incidents of rape in India linked to open defecation: Study. Indian Express, December 15, 2016.

According to the study, women who use open defecation sites are twice as likely to get raped compared to women using a home toilet. 

open-defecation-l

The researchers looked at the latest Indian National Family Health Survey data and analysed a nationally representative sample of 75,000 women to answer questions about access to a home toilet and their exposure to different types of violence.

Women in India who use open defecation are prone to sexual violence and infrastructure improvements can provide them with some level of protection, a US university researcher has said. “Open defecation places women at uniquely higher risk of one type of sexual violence: non-partner,” says Approva Jadhav from the University of Michigan in a research paper published in the latest issue of Bio-Med Central Journal.

“Women who use open defecation sites like open fields or the side of a railway track are twice as likely to get raped when compared with women using a home toilet,” the study says. The research results, which suggest that women who use open defecation have twice the odds of non-partner sexual violence (NPSV) than women who use household toilets, indicate that infrastructure improvements can provide women with some level of protection against NPSV, it says.

“Our findings provide further rationale for NGOs and the Indian government to expand sanitation programmes, and raise new questions about the potentially protective role of sanitation facilities in other contexts beyond India,” the paper says.

Read the complete article.

Household sanitation facilities and women’s risk of non-partner sexual violence in India

Household sanitation facilities and women’s risk of non-partner sexual violence in IndiaBMC Public Health, November 2016.

Background – Globally, one in ten individuals practice open defecation. Despite media speculation that it increases women’s risk of sexual violence, little empirical evidence supports the claims. We investigate the relationship between household sanitation facilities and women’s risk of non-partner sexual violence (NPSV) in India, where nearly half of the population lives without a pit or toilet.

Methods – We use the most recent NPSV data, from the National Family Health Survey-III, to estimate logistic regression models of the effects of household sanitation facilities (toilet, pit, or none) on NPSV in the last year among women who have resided in their current home for one year or more. These effects are estimated net of other socioeconomic factors, compared to effects of household sanitation facilities on child diarrhea, and, as a falsification test, compared to effects of household sanitation facilities on intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) in the last year.

Results – Net of their socioeconomic status, women who use open defecation are twice as likely to face NPSV as women with a household toilet. This is twice the association between open defecation and child diarrhea. The results of our falsification test indicate that open defecation is not correlated with IPSV, thus disconfirming a simultaneous selection of women into open defecation and sexual violence.

Conclusions
Our findings provide empirical evidence that lacking household sanitation is associated with higher risk of NPSV.

Read also the related press release “Lack of sanitation facilities linked to higher rape incidents in India“, 14 Dece 2016

Dying for a pee – Cape Town’s slum residents battle for sanitation

Dying for a pee – Cape Town’s slum residents battle for sanitation | Source: Reuters, Oct 12 2016 |

Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township is seen

Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township is seen in this picture taken October 4, 2016. Picture taken October 4, 2016. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Johnny Miller

CAPE TOWN (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Siphesihle Mbango was just six years old when her friend, Asenathi, begged her to go with her to the toilet then ran outside alone – and was never seen again.

Now 12, Mbango tells the story with an intense, unflinching gaze but her hands, fidgeting nervously as she speaks, show the trauma is still raw.

“We were at the crèche and she wanted me to go with her,” but I told her I was busy, I was playing, I didn’t want to go and she went out by herself,” she said, at her home in a Cape Town slum.

“It was a long time she was away and when the teachers asked me, I told them she went to the toilet. They looked and looked for her for a long, long time. But then we lost hope. We never saw her again.”

Mbango shares a one-room shack with her grandmother and two younger siblings in Endlovisi, a vast sprawl of more than 6,600 corrugated iron shacks perched precariously over the sand dunes on the southeastern edge of the South African city.

Part of Khayelitsha, one of the world’s five biggest slums, Endlovini is home to an estimated 20,000 people who share just 380 or so communal toilets.

However, the family live in an area where there are no easily accessible toilets at all – and according to the community, residents have literally been dying for a pee.

Read the complete article.

Deadly toilet trips for women in Cape Town’s informal settlements

Deadly toilet trips for women in Cape Town’s informal settlements | Source: Times Live, May 25, 2016 |

violence

RISKY BUSINESS: A woman walks back to her shack after using a toilet in Khayelitsha

Women in Cape Town’s informal settlements are at high risk of rape for 15 minutes every day as they walk to and from toilets.

The finding, by researchers at Yale University in the US, comes as an international monitoring organisation said the City of Cape Town’s budget for installing toilets in informal settlements has been virtually unchanged for a decade, despite the fact that one-fifth of households are in informal settlements.

Yesterday, hundreds of Khayelitsha residents marched to the Civic Centre to hand over a petition demanding improved sanitation in informal settlements.

“Using a toilet in many informal settlements is one of the most dangerous activities for residents,” the petition read.

“Women, children and men of all ages are frequently robbed, raped, assaulted and murdered on the way to relieve themselves in a toilet, bushes or empty clearings often very far from their homes.”

Yale’s researchers quantified the link between sexual assaults, the number of sanitation facilities and time spent walking to the toilet.

Read the complete article.

Focus on Violence and Gender in the WASH and Household Energy Sectors

WASHplus Weekly | Issue 151 | June 27, 2014 | Focus on Violence and Gender in the WASH and Household Energy Sectors

There have been several new initiatives to deal with the problem of violence and gender. In the WASH sector, several key organizations have worked together to publish a recent toolkit that discusses how to make WASH safer and more effective. In the household energy sector, the SAFE strategy, or the Global Strategy for Safe Access to Fuel and Energy was recently launched by the UN High High Commissioner for Refugees. The SAFE strategy principally addresses technology and program management and provides guidance on a holistic approach to the safety challenge in humanitarian settings. USAID has also published a new toolkit to support the implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally.

WASH RESOURCES/STUDIES

TOOLKITS

Violence, Gender and WASH: A Practitioner’s Toolkit, 2014. (Link)
The toolkit has been developed by Sarah House, Suzanne Ferron, Marni Sommer and Sue Cavill on behalf of WaterAid with contributions from a wide range of actors. It was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the British Government through the Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research For Equity (SHARE) Consortium. By recognizing both the risks of violence associated with WASH and the potential benefits of WASH, this toolkit aims to shine a light on this problem and encourage practitioners to recognize their capacity to make WASH safer and more effective.

Toolkit for Monitoring and Evaluating Gender-Based Violence Interventions along the Relief to Development Continuum, 2014. USAID. (Link)
USAID developed this toolkit to support the implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. It provides guidance to USAID staff, implementing partners and the larger community of international relief and development practitioners on how to monitor and evaluate gender-based violence interventions along the Relief to Development Continuum (RDC). The RDC is divided broadly into three phases: (1) the pre-crisis phase, (2) the crisis phase, and (3) the post-crisis phase. The toolkit identifies opportunities for doing monitoring and evaluation along the RDC and gives advice on how to address constraints and challenges relating to each phase.

Continue reading