wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water

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03/10/2020
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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management and WASH in Urban Slums: Gaps in the Evidence and Recommendations
    (2020-03-10) Goddard, Sarah J.; Sommer, Marni
    The rapid urbanization and development of megacities across many low- and middle-income countries creates new challenges in global health; this is particularly true for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by poor urban planning, inadequate sanitation infrastructure, and limited access to water. Urban slums serve to reinforce many gendered inequalities, as reflected in poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes and various other health and wellbeing indicators. Women and adolescent girls in urban slums are particularly vulnerable in relation to their experiences of menstruation, given the limited access they may have to safe, private spaces with water for changing, washing, bathing, and laundering reusable pads, menstrual cloths and pads, and insufficient access to culturally acceptable, adequate disposal mechanisms for used menstrual materials. On-going taboos and stigma around menstruation likely augment these challenges in urban slum contexts; however, there exists limited literature on the intersection of menstrual hygiene management with water and sanitation systems in urban slums in low- and middle-income countries. Through a review of literature, this article seeks to highlight critical interlinkages between urbanization, sanitation, and menstruation, and identify important gaps in the existing menstruation-related evidence base that have implications for the health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and women.
  • Publication
    Barriers and Bias: Women in Water Utilities Are Breaking Them All
    (2020-03-10) Hegde, Swati
    Around the world, women are the mainstays of society, from raising children to supporting families to caring for the needy. In developing countries, they are also usually responsible for collecting and providing water for the family. In doing so, their time, health, safety, education and income are compromised. Outdated and undisputed social norms create the biases that force women to bear the responsibility to secure and distribute water, thereby creating barriers to women’s advancement in educational opportunities and significantly reducing income-earning potential. Similarly, in the developed world, outdated social norms create biases and barriers in the water industry that limit women’s advancement in terms of roles and leadership opportunity. However, with increased awareness of opportunities in the water sector in the early stages of their careers, it is possible to attract more women to the water sector and for these women to become the next generation of water leaders. This article discusses the biases, barriers and bottlenecks facing women who work in water utilities, current leadership’s responsibility to attract more women to the sector and the role of communications in attracting more young minds toward water utilities. This paper presents the state of the knowledge of female employment in water careers in the United States (US) and is supported by learnings from interviewing four women water leaders working in four different large US water utilities.
  • Publication
    Good mums: a gender equality perspective on the constructions of the mother in handwashing campaigns
    (2020-03-10) Cavill, Sue; Huggett, Chelsea
    The first part of this paper provides a brief overview of the framing of women in hygiene interventions. The following section provides a review of the literature on best practices for handwashing and hygiene, as framed by discourses on the good mother. The goal of this paper is to illustrate how promotional approaches are targeting mothers to change handwashing and hygiene behavior, and to contrast such interventions with the possibility of more gender transformative approaches. We argue that women don’t always implement the handwashing practices they would prefer. This is clearly not due to laziness and thoughtlessness, and it is important to understand the factors women negotiate when making decisions. Furthermore, we argue that by reinforcing, legitimating, and perpetuating the idea of the good mother, hygiene promotion seeks to achieve short-term gains on hygiene at the expense of long-term gains on sustainable behavior change coupled with gender justice and equality.
  • Publication
    Future Leader in Sustainable Enterprise — Prescilla Awino
    (2020-03-10) Ejelonu, Akudo
    Prescilla is a trainer and a mentor of teenagers and young adolescent women. She successfully managed the Girls Leadership and Advocacy Series (GALS Kenya), a Program of Women Campaign International (WCI). WCI is a Philadelphia based non-profit organization that empowers women globally to actively participate in civil society, political leadership, economic development and peace building.
  • Publication
    Gender Contribution in Household Management of Water and its Impact on Residents of Dholak Basti (Slum) in Haldwani City of India
    (2020-03-10) Gupta, Yashi; Habeeb, Riyan; Singh, Manya; Pandey, Anvita; Singh, Vishal; Barker, Elizabeth
    The paper explores water and gender sensitivity in one of the slum areas of Haldwani City, one of the fastest growing and least studied cities of Uttarakhand. The study is intended to contextualise the analysis of household water management and role of gender with respect to water management in the city. First, a city-wide ward wise analysis was conducted to identify wards with low socio-economic profile and high illiteracy based on Census of India, 2011 data and analysed spatially in Geographical Information System (GIS). The spatial analysis was followed by primary surveys in one of the identified wards and statistical data analysis. The results point out that lower social strata are not sufficiently covered by municipal water supply systems and women play a major role in household water management. Children are the worst affected by water-borne diseases in comparison to adults; this is in contrast to earlier studies where adult males were found more prone to water related diseases in comparison to females. Strategic interventions were worked out to find possible solutions related to health concerns and equitable water accessibility.
  • Publication
    Amigos por Agua
    (2020-03-10) Lazos, Pamela J.
    The role of non-profit organizations in outfitting the developing world with clean water has become more extensive as the world’s population grows, especially in places such as Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. Nicaraguans suffer high rates of kidney disease, respiratory illnesses and parasites as a result of water borne diseases. NGOs such as Amigos for Christ are stepping in to fill the void in Chinandega where the local government lacks the financial wherewithal to provide a basic WASH infrastructure to its inhabitants. It is the goal of Amigos for Christ to bring water to every household in Chinandega thereby improving the health, education and welfare of the populace. This article is based on transcripts from an interview on how this NGO accomplishes their work.
  • Publication
    Evaluating W.A.S.H. (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Interventions in Rural Schools Of West Bengal, India
    (2020-03-10) Ejelonu, Akudo; Feng, Huiran; McKeon, Thomas
    Poor sanitation exacerbates adverse health outcomes such as infectious disease, diarrhea and childhood stunting. People of India suffer from disproportionately high rates of poor sanitation. Diarrheal diseases are preventable and better sanitation can reduce disease transmission through improved access to latrines, hygiene education and clean water. A significant concentration of behaviors related to poor sanitation occurring in India requires sustainability and an assessment of programs working towards improving water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). We assessed the health and environmental impact of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as Sarboday Sangha and Water for People which implemented WASH projects in about 141 schools in the East Medinipur district of West Bengal, India. In addition, we evaluated 18 of these schools for their sustainability by collecting cross-sectional observational data by surveying school headmasters and photographing between December 29th, 2016 and January 2nd, 2017. The survey was divided into five sections: (1) Health behavior/knowledge; (2) Social-school hygiene education; (3) Hardware resources; (4) Costs; and (5) Governance tracking. Interviews were aided by a translator. Data were analyzed using summary statistics and ranking sustainability. All 18 schools reported zero open defecation and improved school attendance largely due to latrines and female sanitary napkins. All but one of the schools reported a hygiene education program. Monthly WASH maintenance costs ranged from 800 INR to 5000 INR. Maintenance funding was reported as the largest need. The school WASH interventions improved sanitation knowledge and behavior, but more funding is needed for maintenance costs to sustain the interventions.