Category Archives: Equality and non-discrimination

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

A4C Twitter takeover

Tuesday, 28 July, marks the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation!

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

On this day, @RealiseHRWS and @sanwatforall will take over the @WASHStrong twitter account to discuss how human rights contribute to strengthening WASH systems. We will share local and global approaches from Making Rights Real and Sanitation and Water for All.

The takeover will take place from 8am to 8pm Central European Time / 11.30am to 11.30pm India Standard Time / 2am to 2pm US Eastern Time.

Join us! https://twitter.com/WASHstrong

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised and with 10 years to go until the promise of SDG 6 should be fulfilled, we want to use this day as an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences of applying human rights to their own work.

Joins us if you…

–          Have used human rights and it has helped to improve WASH systems

–          Have questions on how human rights are relevant to WASH systems change

–          Want to see what experiences other have made

We hope for a lively exchange among practitioners in this space!

See you there

Hannah (WASH United/Making Rights Real), Manishka (SWA), Alec (Agenda for Change)

Decolonising the WASH sector

Being true to #BlackLivesMatter. Report of an IRC Global Talk

BlackLivesMatter-Montreal-Martin-Reisch-Unsplash

Gay Village, Montreal. Credit: Martin Reisch/Unsplash

“The problem isn’t men, it’s patriarchy.
The problem isn’t white people, it’s white supremacy.
The problem isn’t straight people, it’s homophobia.
Recognize systems of oppression before letting individual defensiveness paralyze you from dismantling them”. (Ruchika Tulshyan, founder of inclusion strategy firm Candour)

This is not a quote you would expect to hear from an opening speaker in your usual WASH sector webinar, but the title of the IRC Global Talk on 16 July was anything but usual: “Decolonising WASH sector knowledge and decolonising systems thinking”.

On 18 June 2020, IRC posted a message from our CEO on Black Lives Matter with a commitment to the global struggle against racism. For this Global Talk, we found two, young undaunted voices to help IRC kickstart discussions on our commitments to #BlackLivesMatter. We asked them to elaborate on their recent provocative think pieces on decolonisation. First up was Euphresia Luseka, a WASH Governance Consultant from Kenya who wrote “Initiating De-colonization of WASH Sector Knowledge”, followed by the UK-based writer/facilitator and historian, Alara Adali who believes in “Decolonising systems thinking” for social change.

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Sanitation Learning Hub launched

Sanitation Learning Hub

Following the start of a new four-year programme funded by Sida, the Institute of  Development Studies (IDS) launched the Sanitation Learning Hub website on 22 June 2020.

The website is divided into into three main sections:

Practical Support 

This section presents recommended approaches and practical tools to help sanitation and hygiene practitioners do their job well. It reflects our commitment to adaptable, ‘combinable’ and context-specific learning and sanitation approaches. Each approach page has an introduction recommended resources.

Current Thinking

Resources are divided by nine essential themes in this section. Each theme has an introduction, recommended resources, and sub-themes that get into more detail.

Connect, Share, Learn

The desire to bring together sanitation and hygiene professionals is reflected here. You can find blogs, news, events in the sector and more information about workshops, including stories from participants of past workshops. You can also submit a blog in this section.

Watch this video introduction to the new website.

All Women Need Equal Access to Water and Sanitation

All Women Need Equal Access to Water and Sanitation. by Pallavi Bharadwaj, Engineering for Change, March 9, 2020.

International Womens’ Day was recently celebrated worldwide, but many women and girls have little cause for celebration in at least one aspect of their lives. They have to walk miles each day to fetch potable water. This year #IWD2020’s theme was #EachforEqual.

Twenty-five years after adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), the UN-Women’s executive director reports that no country has achieved equality for women and girls.

No country has reached low inequality in human development without reducing the loss coming from gender inequality.

Inequality is evident in access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) related issues, too. Women and girls bear the brunt of spending unequal numbers of hours collecting water for their households and enduring physical and emotional injuries in doing so.

And despite those efforts, many are still unable to provide water security at a rate that is difficult to quantify, according to Sera Young, professor of anthropology and global health at Northwestern University.

Read the complete article.

Religion and Sanitation Practices – World Bank

Religion and Sanitation Practices. World Bank, January 2020.

Infant mortality among Hindus is higher than among Muslims in India, and religious differences in sanitation practices have been cited as a contributing factor.

To explore whether religion itself is associated with differences in sanitation practices, this study compares sanitation practices of Hindus and Muslims living in the same locations using three nationally-representative data sets from India.

Across all three data sets, the unconditional religion-specific gap in latrine ownership and latrine use declines by approximately two-thirds when conditioning on location characteristics or including location fixed effects.

Further, the estimates do not show evidence of religion-specific differences in other sanitation practices, such as handwashing or observed fecal material near homes.

Household sanitation practices vary substantially across areas of India, but religion itself has less direct influence when considering differences between Hindus and Muslims within the same location.

Frontiers 13: Support mechanisms to strengthen equality and non-discrimination (EQND) in rural sanitation (Part 2 of 2)

Frontiers 13: Support mechanisms to strengthen equality and non-discrimination (EQND) in rural sanitation (Part 2 of 2)

Achievement of adequate and equitable access to sanitation for all, and an end to open defecation, requires that special attention is given toward disadvantaged groups. It has become apparent that the benefits of conventional rural sanitation programming and service delivery are often not spread equally, and risk leaving disadvantaged groups behind. frontiers

This issue of Frontiers of CLTS (the second in a two-part series) examines the potential of support mechanisms designed to help disadvantaged groups access and use hygienic toilets in driving more equitable rural sanitation outcomes. It covers the latest thinking on the opportunities and challenges of support mechanisms, and explores what works remains to be done.

In this issue, we use a broad definition of ‘support’ for creating equitable outcomes. Although financial and physical subsidies often quickly come to mind, a broader practical understanding of support needs to encompass both ‘hardware’ mechanisms and ‘software’ approaches, as well as various combinations of the two (Myers et al. 2017; ISF-UTS and SNV 2018).

Part one of this issue (2017) on equality and non-discrimination (EQND),  shares and builds on the learning from the Global Sanitation Fund EQND study, which examined EQND in relation to sanitation programmes being implemented at scale. It draws on existing global experience and looks at who should be considered potentially disadvantaged and how they can participate. It concludes with suggested good practices that would strengthen the processes to the benefit of all.

Read the complete article.

Nine ideas for Gender Transformative WASH programming – IDS

Nine ideas for Gender Transformative WASH programming – July 2019

This blog offers advice for practitioners wanting to apply gender transformative approaches to WASH programming. Gender_tranformative_infographic_grey

As a sector we are still gathering evidence on what makes up effective gender transformative programming approaches. In this newsletter we suggest nine ideas for criteria.

Gender transformation: What are we talking about?

Gender transformative approaches to programming aim to transform the power structures that underlie unequal gender relations and norms. Empowering marginalised women and girls to come into the public domain, share their perspectives, take on leadership roles, set political agendas and form movements is central to this approach. Working with men and boys as allies and champions of change is also vital in order to challenge and transform dominant social, economic and political structures that perpetuate gender inequality. Transformative approaches also aim to understand how gender inequalities intersect with and compound other inequalities, striving for more complex and nuanced programming.

Read the complete article

Webinar (June 27th) Support Mechanisms for Rural Sanitation Programmes

Join the CLTS Knowledge Hub for a free webinar from Dr. Jeremy Kohlitz and Professor Juliet Willett, authors of the forthcoming edition of Frontiers of CLTS: Support Mechanisms for Rural Sanitation Programmes.

Date: Thursday 27th June 2019
Time: 11:00 – 12:30 (BST)
Register here

The webinar will focus on:

  • Different individual support mechanisms including financial, in-kind and non-material that go beyond conventional CLTS support processes.
  • How these mechanisms can be designed to address the challenges faced by disadvantaged individuals and groups.
  • The necessary monitoring systems and knowledge sharing needs
  • Recommendations for practice moving forward

It will begin with a presentation by authors Dr. Jeremy Kohlitz and Professor Juliet Willetts followed by a Q&A.

A renewed focus on equity is being driven by the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation framework and Sustainable Development Goal 6, which emphasise the importance of adequate and equitable sanitation for all. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is based on the idea that sustained, collective improvements in sanitation work best when communities identify and drive their own sanitation solutions. However, there is evidence that CLTS processes to achieve community-wide outcomes are not always systematic, adequate, sustained, or sufficient to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups. To ensure equitable outcomes, there is increasing attention on additional support mechanisms that complement conventional processes of demand creation, behaviour change, community empowerment and community action.

The webinar is based on the forthcoming edition of Frontiers of CLTS: Support Mechanisms for Rural Sanitation Programmes, which will be available in print and online at the end of June/early July 2019. This is the second part of a two part series on the overarching theme of Equality and non-discrimination (EQND) in sanitation programmes at scale. Part one is available to download here.

On World Water Day, gender equality and empowerment require attention

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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.

 

 

Celebrating Gender Transformative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Vietnam

Celebrating Gender Transformative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Vietnam. by Elaine Mercer, IDS Blog, March 8, 2019.

Within the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, gender issues are frequently reduced to the roles and experiences of women and within that often with a narrow focus on menstrual hygiene management. Although these issues are very important, many other central gender equality issues are missed or side-lined.

To celebrate International Women’s Day which focuses on gender balance this year, we are featuring innovative work in Vietnam by Women for Water in partnership with Thrive Networks/East Meets West.

In Vietnam, many women face challenges in accessing WASH services and facilities; eg lack of funds and information, exclusion from decision-making, poorly designed facilities along with restrictive gender norms.

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Photo Credit: Thrive Networks/East Meets West – Nguyen Van Phuc (father, left); his son Tien Manh; and wife Kim Chi stand next to their newly constructed hygienic latrine behind their house in Long Hung commune, Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang province.

Overcoming barriers to women’s access to hygiene and water

In the video interview below, Hanh Nguyen Hong (Thrive Networks/East Meets West) talks about how the Women-Led Output Based Aid (WOBA) programme in Vietnam is overcoming these barriers by facilitating gender transformative WASH.

WOBA is implemented in partnership with the Vietnam Women’s Union. The Union is a fantastic and well-connected mobilising force as it has 17 million members across the country at all levels, including village level.

Read the complete article.