Access to household toilets is often seen as just a water and sanitation issue or a public health concern. But the recent murders of two young Indian girls have highlighted another aspect – women’s safety and security.
Anupma Jain has led the design and implementation project teams related to infrastructure and policy development in water supply, sanitation and urban development. She has worked extensively on gender and health issues, and strives to include innovative strategies to enhance gender equity, promote women’s health, and support women’s empowerment in the sector. Ms. Jain has worked in Asia for more than 10 years and holds a PhD in social policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
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Increasing women’s leadership in the water sector may appear straightforward given affirmative measures such as project gender action plans and gender targets designed to boost female involvement. However, in practice, very few women have emerged as leaders in the sector as a direct outcome of these measures.
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.
‘Momentum 1000’ marked a major milestone on 5 April 2013—1000 days left of action before the target date to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Incremental achievements in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are possible before they “expire” in 2015 if linkages among strategies to achieve various goals are made. MDG 5 demands an improvement in maternal health. MDG 4 calls for an improvement in child health.
The realm of “utilities” is perceived as a man’s employment domain in many Asian countries. It is about gadgets—pipes, concrete, construction, machines, control panels, etc. Women’s role in utilities is often relegated to serving tea and welcoming guests.