Conversation on ‘Sanitation needs of Women’

People have different needs, interests in, access to and control of resources and services based on a variety of factors including gender. An integrated approach to water and sanitation recognizes these differences and the disparate priorities they create for women and men. The involvement of women and girls is crucial to effective water and sanitation projects. Women and girls in developing countries bear most of the burden of carrying, using and protecting water. They also have the most responsibility for environmental sanitation and home health. 
 
Sanitation Scribes will organise a conversation on “Understanding the Sanitation needs of Women”.
 
Venue: India Club, Guwahati
Date: April 10, 2015
Time:  3:30 pm
 
The ‘Sanitation Scribes’ initiative between Shishu Sarothi and Thumbprint Foundation, supported by UNICEF Assam is a unique one that aims to bring into focus issues around Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Assam. Achievement of WASH targets including elimination of open defecation and availability of safe drinking water, depends to a large extent on creating awareness and sensitization among communities for which it is critical to make WASH issues an acceptable and urgent ‘talking point’ in the public discourse. Media plays an important role in raising relevant issues, and increasing public consciousness and acceptability of certain issues.
 
People from different walks of life are expected to participate in the conversation.

  • vijendra Agarwal

    No question about the sanitary needs in the developing countries and the critical role of women. I would add that the women have a much bigger role in the society but they are helpless and not empowered enough to do what they are capable of doing. Vidya Gyan, a US based NGO, just concluded its project of honoring 233 Sukanya Scholars, studying in government primary schools in grades 1-5. The scholarship enabled them to open a high yielding savings account under Sukanya Samridhi Yojana (SSY) – a significant step toward their future financial security and independence, education, and empowerment. The girls don’t even understand that they are the proud owners of a small savings account but their parents, especially mothers, made the commitment to partner with Vidya Gyan in empowering their little girls. We must note that these girls, who took the first step just last couple of months, are generally from the most impoverished and poorly educated families. Many of them are in the government schools not by choice but the necessity- free lunch, clothes, and education (roti, kapara aur padhai) which they may not otherwise have. They endure the unimaginable what many of us cannot even imagine.

    Our analysis of a short survey filled by Sukanya Scholars revealed that while most want to be a teacher (or Madame as most female teachers are fondly called), some have dreams of becoming a doctor, beautician, or police officer. While they all deserve to be in the mainstream- well-fed, well-educated, and well-informed, won’t it be satisfying and rewarding even if only 10-20% Sukanya Scholars realize their dream with our generosity and help? All I ask is that you decide how and what you can do to bridge the gap; bring the smile to the less privileged, and challenge the “haves” to help empower the “have-nots.” Simply put the “Two Indias” need to be “One Strong India,” with its rising economic power in the 21st century, even with incremental steps like Sukanya savings accounts. India and the rest of the world will be greatly enriched and empowered if all women (about half of the population) gain enough wealth and respect they deserve. After all, they are perhaps better custodian of wealth, wiser in spending the money, better nurturer of the family, and good planners.

    I say: Empower Women globally.