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Document Type

Opinion

Abstract

Research from the global development sector repeatedly shows that convenient access to safe water improves women’s quality of life. Similarly, digital technology is increasingly highlighted as an essential component for increasing women’s educational, economic, and civic opportunities—yet a gender divide exists. As digital technology becomes more prevalent in managing effective and reliable safe water services, the water sector has the opportunity to both create new channels for women to engage with technology and use technology to make safe water supply more responsive to women’s needs. In this article, we will explore how technology is deployed within the small water enterprise (SWE) value chain to produce benefits for women beyond immediate safe water access. Using Safe Water Network’s experience in India, where it launched a program with Honeywell Hometown Solutions to center women as safe water suppliers, as well as Saha Global’s program in Ghana, we will highlight how technology advances women’s roles as active participants in the local economy through their responsibilities as SWE managers and operators.

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