Water, Gender, and Distress: social equity in the post-MDG landscape

Wednesday 26 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: FH Congress Hall A

Compromised access to water and sanitation has profound psychosocial impacts for women and girls across the life course and far-reaching implications for social justice and social equity. While these impacts remain largely unaddressed in development research and programming, emerging research has helped draw attention to the lived experiences of women and girls globally. Equally, research has shown the significant opportunity water and sanitation programs can offer to shift gender norms. Existing development approaches can place water and sanitation into independent silos, while findings from Asia and Africa highlight the interdependence of water and sanitation resources in daily life for women and girls. The experiences women and girls have accessing these resources, and those that put them at greatest risk for negative psychosocial outcomes, are shaped by socially constructed gendered roles and behaviors they are expected to perform. This workshop will examine how the availability of water and sanitation resources and the physical and social challenges associated with accessing those resources can negatively impact women and girls, and how gender-sensitive policies and programming can not only mitigate those impacts, but have the potential to empower women and transform existing gender norms.


9:00    Welcome

           Joanna Esteves Mills, SHARE

9:00    Opening remarks

            Catarina de Albuquerque, Sanitation and Water for All

9:05    Women and girls menstruate!  Solutions from policy and practice in WASH

            Bethany Caruso, Emory University

            Sue Cavil, UNICEF

            Archana Patkar, WSSCC

            Marni Sommer, Columbia University

            Lauren Yamagata, Plan USA

9:20    No Relief: Stress, Distress and Women’s Sanitation

            Bethany Caruso, Emory University

            Robert Dreibelbis, University of Oklahoma

            Seema Kulkarni, SOPPECOM

            Kathleen O’Reilly, Texas A&M University

9:35    Addressing the impacts of gender-based violence through gender transformation in WASH policy and practice

            Sweta Patnaik, WaterAiD

            Juliet Willetts, University of Technology, Sydney

9:50    Summary and group discussion:  From blind spots to safety and dignity

10:20  Closing Remarks

            Catarina de Albuquerque, Sanitation and Water for All