Country Water Actions

India: Gender-Sensitive Sustainable Sanitation
April 2011

By Cezar Tigno

Melissa Howell-Alipalo

SANITATION IN WOMEN’S HANDS

SOLUTION IN A SMALL PACKAGE

ROADBLOCKS TO SANITATION

CHANGED PERCEPTIONS The PDA was an overwhelming success on a sensitive issue that had to be addressed. Dr. Aqueel Khan, Director of the ASK, which acted as the PDA implementing agency shared the PDA results “The PDA expectations were met, and the results far exceeded the plans. Women in existing self-help groups learned to take action through loans, rather than grants, for constructing latrines. They volunteered in awareness-raising activities and as members of village sanitation committees. The gender equity they brought to those committees earned such high credibility that the government recognized them as legal entities for planning, implementing, and monitoring the government’s “Total Sanitation Campaign.” The committees mobilized resources from households and state and central governments to finance community-wide sanitation programs. And now, these self-help groups and village sanitation committees see themselves as a model and travel to other communities and local governments to advocate their replication.” RELATED LINKS Women Hold Key to Accepting Toilets Water Champion Kamal Kar: Defeating Open Defecation Demonstrating Gender-Sensitive Sustainable Sanitation Improvement and Management through Community Initiative

_______________________________ *This article was first published online at ADB's Water for All website in April 2011: http://www.adb.org/water/actions/ind/Gender-Sensitive-sanitation.asp.

The Country Water Action series was developed to showcase reforms and good practices in the water sector undertaken by ADB’s member countries. It offers a mix of experience and insights from projects funded by ADB and those undertaken directly by civil society, local governments, the private sector, media, and the academe. The Country Water Actions are regularly featured in ADB’s Water for All News, which covers water sector developments in the Asia and Pacific region.