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Striving for a world where women are in decision-making positions for WASH at district and national level holding budgets and making policies.

Attentive school girls

In this WASH Talk episode host Andy Narracott talks to Gabrielle Halcrow of SNV Asia about delivering gender positive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in the SDG era. Gabrielle is SNV’s programme coordinator for the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (rural) Programme in Asia. She has 20 years of professional experience working with WASH, gender equality and public health programmes with local and state governments and international development organisations.

Gabrielle has experienced that in rural sanitation programmes, female-headed households face the most challenges. As SDG 6 specifically mentions women and girls in relation to sanitation, this focus can potentially create more opportunities for women.  WASH programmes present a real opportunity to achieve gender positive outcomes, such as getting women in leadership roles or training women in WASH supply mechanisms that will improve their economic opportunities.

When going beyond the community, we need to get a higher number of women into leadership roles, and encourage them to be the champions at district and national levels. Once their efforts have been institutionalised in policy, women know their rights and this gives them the confidence to not just participate, but also influence the agenda going forward.

Gabrielle's vision of success is a world where women at all levels have the policies and the budgets for WASH. They are prioritising the activities, ensuring monitoring, acknowledging that there are differences in the needs of men and women, girls and boys.