Women in the Sanitation Sector (29th SuSanA meeting group discussion synthesis)


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Women in the Sanitation Sector (29th SuSanA meeting group discussion synthesis)

Dear All,

Happy International Women's Day!!! May we take this day to reflect as women on our role in the community and how we can improve ourselves in our various areas of influence. During the 29th SuSanA meeting that was held on 22nd February 2020 in Kampala, Uganda, there was a group discussion session that was thematic to Women in the Sanitation Sector. Part of what was discussed is as highlighted below:

1. Sensitization programmes to empower women to know about sanitation programmes through various forms of media should be encouraged. This should be a continuous process showing that women are capable of carrying out various roles in the sector. The sensitization should be on different levels: village, location, county. The use of women meetings should also be considered as a way of engagement. With this arrangement, there should women representatives on each level.

2. Engage women in groups. These groups can be used to source for funding to carry out women activities on a beneficiary level. Given that the African Water Association (AFWA) already has 17 country chapters, they can be used to support the women groups formed. Activities of the Women Country chapters should be linked to the needs on the ground. AfWA can then be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of the women chapter activities to make them consistent and accountable.

3. Encourage safe space within the sector. Women not feeling intimidated joining sectors that have been previously considered male dominated. Mentoring structures should be created that can mentor women to take up scientific courses geared towards Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Women who are already in the sector and spearheading the growth in the sector can be tapped to share their experiences.

4. Talented women should be engaged in the sector to uplift the vulnerable groups. By uplifting ourselves by meeting in chapters let us also create tools that are beneficial to the women on the ground.

5. Women in politics should lobby for women to engage in sanitation activities on a policy level. Legislative and affirmative action should be the goal. Young girls will be moved to go to university and take up courses that are related to Water and Sanitation. The government should play a role in this. We will therefore have practical involvement of women, not only on paper but trickle down to actual outputs.

6. Cultural leaders should empower the women to, “Not only be seen as beneficiaries but as change drivers.” They should be go-getters. Should not settle for less. By virtue of women not being too vocal doesn’t mean that they are not interested.

7. Sessions should be highlighted and planned that bring out the innovation abilities of women. Study tours can be planned for benchmarking among the women.

8. Government should increase the budget and incorporate some funding towards the women empowerment. Women should build a case for themselves to access the funding.

Please feel free to add any more comments that you may have. Let us keep the conversation going.

Charlotte Mong'ina Maua
Water and Sanitation Consultant

M +254 (0) 723 571 463
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
L: Nairobi, Kenya

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