On World Water Day, gender equality and empowerment require attention. Lancet Planetary Health, March 18, 2019. By Sheela S Sinharoy; Bethany A Caruso.
What would promotion of gender equality and empowerment in relation to water look like? At a minimum, it would necessitate a recognition of gender differences, as opposed to gender blindness.
This requires collection of improved gender data. At the global level, an opportunity exists to enable sex-disaggregated data collection through the WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, which is revising core questions for monitoring household water, sanitation, and hygiene.
This effort should include questions to assess differences in responsibilities for water-related tasks—including but not limited to drinking water—based on gender as well as on age, socioeconomic status, and other characteristics, such as caste, as part of an intersectional approach.