Global Resources

Violence, gender, and WASH: a practitioners toolkit

Publisher: Water, Engineering, and Development Centre
Publication Date: Jan 2016

This toolkit, hosted by the Water, Engineering, and Development Centre at Loughborough University, has been co-published by a large group of non-governmental organisations in response to an acknowledgement that, although the lack of access to appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) is not the root cause of violence, it can lead to increased vulnerabilities to violence of varying forms. Incidences have been reported from a wide range of contexts, often anecdotally but with regular occurrence, with a number of targeted studies confirming the same.

By recognising both the risks of violence associated with WASH and the potential benefits of WASH, this toolkit aims to shine a light on this problem and encourage practitioners to recognise their capacity to make WASH safer and more effective. It has been developed for use by WASH practitioners but will also be useful for gender based violence (GBV), gender, protection, health and education specialists. It is relevant to development, humanitarian and transitional contexts, and provides examples of promising good practice approaches which have the potential to reduce vulnerabilities to violence.

Effectively considering gender in the process of establishing sustainable WASH services can contribute to the process of longer-term change in attitudes and relationships between men and women. This in turn can contribute to a transformative process that can help reduce vulnerabilities to violence. However, for WASH actors, particularly for those working in the longer-term developmental contexts, there has been a lack of clarity on the practical steps that can be taken so that they can contribute to reducing vulnerabilities through improved policy and programming. This toolkit aims to fill this gap.