Working Effectively with Women and Men to Improve the Sustainability of WASH Programs

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WASH 2011 conference: Juliet Willetts, ISF

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Working Effectively with Women and Men to Improve the Sustainability of WASH Programs

  1. 1. Working Effectively with Women and Men <br />to Improve the Sustainability of WASH Programs<br />WASH CONFERENCE 2011<br />THINK.<br />CHANGE.<br />DO<br />
  2. 2. Brisbane May 17th 2011<br />Working effectively with women and men to improve sustainabilityDr Juliet Willetts, Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTSBased on research by ISF-UTS, IWDA, Live & Learn and World Vision<br />
  3. 3. Key messages in this presentation<br />All WASH programs have gender outcomes, you just might not know what they are!<br />Working effectively with women and men in WASH programs really is doable!<br />Working effectively with women and men in WASH programs will increase sustainability of WASH outcomes<br />
  4. 4. This session draws on research with 2 NGOs in the Pacific...<br />Strengths-based approach to find out what gender outcomes were being achieved<br />The NGO projects were focused on water, sanitation and hygiene – services, governance, demand<br />Context: illiteracy, males in dominant positions as leaders, chiefs and decision makers<br />We called the project “Making the invisible visible” <br />Although the 2 NGOs weren’t aware, they had created many gender outcomes <br />
  5. 5. A snapshot of a few of our findings...<br />Women had gained respect through taking action...<br />‘The response to women has changed, they are more listened to, there is more trust of women. Whatever project women take a lead in, it is a success. For example in health issues, drainage, compost. Women have gained respect’ (Senikauvilliage, woman)<br />
  6. 6. Opportunity for women to speak at meetings <br />Increased respect led to increased voice...<br />‘Previously during the meetings the men would tell us we are women so we can’t talk and we remain silent, but now we are talking’ (Nanen woman).<br />
  7. 7. Men and women’s changes in attitude...<br />
  8. 8. However, gender outcomes from WASH programs are not always positive... <br />Some examples (fictional, but based on real cases)<br />“The toilets don’t have enough room for us to wash our menstrual cloths privately” <br />“My work has increased due to collection of water for cleaning the new toilet”<br />“The men are angry because they don’t like the new roles being taken by women in WASH”<br />“My husband is suspicious and beats me because he thinks I take too long to collect water”<br />“I don’t see why I should help my wife with keeping the children clean”<br />So no matter what, there will always be gender outcomes to a WASH project, and so the key is to influence a path towards positive outcomes and away from negative ones<br />
  9. 9. So what might help?<br />Some clear constructive principles to follow:<br />Facilitate participation and inclusion<br />Focus on how decisions are made<br />See and value differences<br />Create opportunities<br />
  10. 10. Some practical tools<br />
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Addressing gender in WASH projects is DO-ABLE, and can be done in a constructive manner<br />
  13. 13. What’s the relevance for sustainability?<br />More sustainable outcomes<br />Improved gender equality<br />Practical gender needs<br />Strategic gender interests - empowerment<br />
  14. 14. Back to the key messages in this presentation<br />All WASH programs have gender outcomes, you just might not know what they are!<br />Working effectively with women and men in WASH programs really is doable!<br />Working effectively with women and men in WASH programs will increase sustainability of WASH outcomes<br />
  15. 15. Thankyou<br />For more information:<br />www.genderinpacificwash.info<br />Juliet.Willetts@uts.edu.au<br />Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS<br />Research, consultancy, training<br />

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