Social Media Campaign on 'Women in sanitation' - @tnussp


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  • Kavita
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Re: Social Media Campaign on 'Women in sanitation' - @tnussp

Dear Chaiwe,

I apologise for the extremely late reply to your mail. :( 

I did meet a couple of people from the team that is setting up The African Women Sanitation Professionals Network during World Water Week Stockholm. I am glad the Zambia chapter is taking shape.

The context of this campaign: We have been working to scale inclusive sanitation in Tamil Nadu (state in south India) for four years, and we felt a lot of attention was given to women as users, but we had lot of these wonderful women who were such a core part of the change that we were trying to bring about. There were just very few of them, but those who were there - were outstanding. So, instead of being discouraged about women not being there, we wanted to celebrate what (and who) was here. In that sense, the campaign was very spontaneous (beyond our formal ToC). But what took me by surprise was the response we got in sanitation and non sanitation communities - it certainly struck a chord somewhere, and also gave a personal face to sanitation that is often missing. 

Coming back to network idea, what we are trying to grasp is how to bring all various kinds of women on one platform. In some senses the campaign went beyond what we commonly understand as 'professionals'- those in the development sector and govt. officers. These include women right from high ranking officers to san worker to de-sludging operators. I would love to know your ideas on how you are thinking this through in Africa, and bring these different voices together. 

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  • Chaiwe
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Re: Social Media Campaign on 'Women in sanitation' - @tnussp

Dear Kavita and Gayathri,

I am pleased to see such a great initiative that appreciates women in sanitation. I looked at the feature on the India sanitation collision website and was happy to see the diversity of women from across different levels in the sanitation sector represented. I would love to know the backdrop of this social media campaign of women in sanitation. Is it falling under a formalised or existing network of women in sanitation? Does India have such a network of women, and if so, how is it structured?
I ask because this is interesting for The African Women Sanitation Professionals Network, a Pan-African network that is under development. The network aims to transform how women professionals participate in the sector and systematically tackle the barriers to their meaningful inclusion in policy and technical processes. The network plans to achieve this by supporting the organisation and capacitating of African women on national and regional levels and by providing a safe space for female professionals to build consensus around pertinent issues in the sanitation sector. 

Under this network, different countries in Africa will have the opportunity to develop their national chapters, through the guiding principles of the  African Women Sanitation Professionals Network. Zambia is the first country on the continent that has already taken the lead in embarking on the establishment of its national chapter. 

As part of the team that is pioneering the development of the  Zambian chapter, I can safely say that we are looking critically at how women across the different levels can best harness the different opportunities that the sector has to offer. We are also planning to ensure that women in the sector are recognised and appreciated for their work. 

The Zambian chapter has the following objectives: 


(i) To strengthen the role of women sanitation professionals in decision-making and participation in general management and growth of the sanitation sector and promoting more women into the sanitation industry as a quick win for the sector and society. 
(ii) To identify and promote Zambian women professionals engaged in water and sanitation entrepreneurial activities, as well as those looking to enter the Water and Sanitation Industry.
(iii) To work with Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and other stakeholders to identify existing talent and lobby for greater female representation in positions of authority within the sanitation and water sector.
(iv) To identify, promote and engage successful role models that can inspire and mentor young girls to take up careers in water and sanitation.
(v) To provide mentorship and identify opportunities for continuous professional development for professional women looking to grow their careers in the sanitation and water sector. 
(vi) To promote the sharing of information and experiences among members through appropriate local and international fora, information exchange and study tours/visits. 
(vii) To identify and work on water and sanitation problems in communities to make this professional Association relevant to society so as to include women, who are the bearers of water and sanitation burdens in the water and sanitation sector, in design and implementation of solutions, products, and services. 
(viii) To promote understanding of the sector by producing and disseminating relevant information gathered to support efforts towards improving access to water and sanitation in the country.
 (ix) To lobby for and support mainstreaming gender into water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes. 
(x) To link with other chapters of women professionals and facilitate greater visibility of Zambian women in international fora and within the global water and sanitation community.
 (xi) To establish a secretariat to be headed by an Executive Officer to coordinate the activities of the Association. 

SuSanA Forum Moderator
Skat Foundation (With financial support by GIZ and SIRWASH up to November 2023)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @ChaiweSanderse

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Re: Social Media Campaign on 'Women in sanitation' - @tnussp

The Women in Sanitation Campaign was run for 2 weeks (February 29th - March 12th, 2020) by the TNUSSP team on social media. WASH sector organisations and WASH practitioners joined the momentum around 'Women in Sanitation' campaign through social media engagement. The campaign has been acknowledged by India Sanitation Coalition (ISC) on their  website  and they plan to run the campaign on their social media pages. CWAS-Cept ( link ) and Mahila Housing Trust ( link-1 link-2 ) picked up the campaign and shared interesting stories of women working in the sanitation sector in their States. On International Women’s Day, Fecal Sludge Management Alliance (FSMA) taking inspiration from this campaign conducted an Interview with Fatou Diaw – Director of Membership Services at the African Water Association.

A curtain raiser to the campaign was published by  The Hindu , a popular newspaper. Subsequently throughout the campaign other news publication houses such as  The New Indian Express  and  The Times of India  published stories around the campaign.

The campaign highlighted that the FSM sector can be a good platform for empowering and providing opportunities to marginalised women communities. It provided a momentum to other WASH organisations to share their stories on women sanitation champions.

The youtube links to all the films can be accessed from here -

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  • Kavita
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Social Media Campaign on 'Women in sanitation' - @tnussp


We are running a short social media campaign on #WomeninSanitation as part of the International Women’s Day 2020. While trying to have a larger discussion on this issue, we are bringing out 7 stories of women, working in sanitation in Tamil Nadu, working variously as government officers, sanitary workers, engineers, de-sludging operators etc. We are also trying to gather similar stories from other parts of India and the world, so extending this invitation to share stories of women champions that you know (or your own story) in sanitation.
We are running this campaign from 29 February to 12 March across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at our handle @tnussp.
#womeninsanitation #EachforEqual


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