A gender and poverty approach to rural water supply, hygiene and sanitation projects

2018-02-12T15:08:23Z (GMT) by Umesh Pandey Dipendra Shahi
Water, sanitation, and hygiene projects often inadvertently reinforce existing deep-seated practices of exclusion. Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) developed, piloted and evaluated a Gender and Poverty approach, which aims to address gender and caste inequity and poverty issues in practice. The evaluation indicates that there is more equitable access to water and sanitation by women, poor and disadvantaged groups due to use of PRA tools, flexible water point policy, greater involvement of women in design and location of water points, and provision of free latrine components to the poorest. The poorest and women took opportunities to earn supplementary income during the project. Access to hygiene education by men and ‘out-of-school’ children was enhanced and transformations in gender roles identified. The evaluation demonstrated that when commitment is made, gender and poverty issues can be tackled, leading to improvements in domestic and community gender relations, enhanced social status, greater self-confidence and improved well being for women and the poor.