Document Type

Original Research


Throughout much of the developing world, women lack access to water and sanitation. This means that women cannot work or attend school, are at higher risk of assault and illness and must care for family members sickened from disease-carrying wa­ter. This crisis will only worsen due to increasing water scarcity from population growth, climate change and coming water conflicts . Trans- national companies (TNCs) are in a unique position to provide women water and sanitation (WW&S) access through investment in social enterprises, addressing and mitigating gendered negative impacts, corporate social responsibility and sustainable management (CSRM) programs and governance and stakeholder management initiatives. They have much to gain: investing in wa­ter and sanitation access can improve productivity of the work­ force, create better stakeholder relationships and develop new markets. This paper briefly surveys the available literature on WW&S, and then examines how transnational corporations nega­tively and positively affect WW&S through real and conceptual examples in corporate social responsibility, investment in social enterprise and governance strategies.