Integrating gender and disability in water, sanitation and hygiene this World Water Day

2 min read
Lady in front of a running tap, smiling with one tooth

Earlier this month we celebrated International Women’s Day (8 March) and today we mark World Water Day (22 March).

Women and girls globally carry the heavy burden of water collection for their families and communities.  Our efforts to improve safe water access globally must be done in ways which not only alleviate the burden placed on women and girls, but also empower women and girls in the process. Moreover approaches to address gender inequality can be empowering and improve the rights of people living with disabilities.

WaterAid, in collaboration with CBM Australia and Di Kilsby consulting have published a paper to examine the linkages, common approaches and learning in both areas. Today we launch a Discussion Paper ‘Integrating gender equality and disability inclusion in water, sanitation and hygiene: exploring integrated approaches to addressing inequality’

The discussion paper explores: 

• How the water, sanitation and hygiene sector can continue to improve practice on gender and disability
• How an integrated approach to the two intersectional issues of gender and disability help us to ‘do development better’

The discussion paper provides reflections on applying integrated gender and disability approaches to rights- based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.  

The paper is intended as a conversation starter for WASH program managers and other development practitioners looking to strengthen their conceptual and practical understanding of challenges and successes in integrating gender and disability in WASH and those looking to move towards more transformative and sustainable practice.