Unforgettable—that’s how I would describe the moment I raised the issue of menstrual hygiene management with project teams and government officials in Southeast Asia. Shocked and stunned—they looked down at their shoes closely inspecting remnants of their breakfast from earlier in the day.
Water and sanitation has a major impact on public health and women’s empowerment. Now is the time to accelerate the momentum and streamline health and gender into water supply and sanitation operations.
If Asia and Pacific countries cannot find ways to ensure the availability of adequate and good quality water to sustain the socio-economic achievements in the region, then these advances could be lost.
Women are disproportionately affected by water and sanitation issues, including inadequate water supply, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices.
Women’s involvement in water utilities is about creating more employment, equalizing opportunities for men and women, and hiring the best person for the job regardless of gender.
Sanitation experts are exploring new strategies on Pacific islands that go beyond simply building toilets, sewers and treatment plants.