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TitleGender in education and training for water supply and sanitation : a literature review
Publication TypeLiterature Review
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsBorba, ML
Paginationxiv, 118 p. : 10 boxes, fig.
Date Published1997-12-01
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Keywordscommunication, education of women, formal education, gender, health education, literature reviews, policies, programmes, sanitation, sdigen, training, water supply, women

The development of water supply and sanitation provisions will greatly benefit from educated, trained and skilled people, in communities and agencies. Skilled huma resources are very important now that decision-making is being decentralised at the lowest local level. It is especially important to educate women due to the crucial role in the provision of domestic water and care of the environment and the impacts they can have on society. However, women are often excluded from education and training.

This literature review highligths how education and training reach women and men, in general and in the sector. It presents examples and case studies of actions that have brought out the gender element in education and training, to the benefit of programmes, communities and the participants themselves. It also analyses the efforts made by countries and their sector agencies to consider gender in their education and training programmes.

The document starts by analysing the situation in schools where issues related to the water and sanitation sector are provided as part of school sanitation, hygiene and health education programmes. However, the rates of female school enrolment and attendance and the quality of training of teachers are elements that could obstaculise the reaching out of the messages in this level. At community level women have been trained at different levels in order to increase their participation, improve their technical and managerial skills. However, care should be taken that training is not only offered to women. A gender-balanced approach to training will have an impact on longer-term sustainability, and tasks and roles and responsibilities for maintenance, management and finacing will be more equally shared.

At project level it is not enough to have a positive attitude towards gender but also to know-how to apply a gender approach in a water supply and sanitation project this includes communication techniques and the use of gender sensitive tools and techniques for community participation. The document states that higher level education and professional training for men and women will help a more gender balanced division of labour among field, project and agency staff. However, higher educational and professional training levels are still male dominated. The introduction of non gender biased curricula, strengthening of gender expertise of staff in education and training institutes among others could help ensure a more gender aware perspective.

The incorporation of men and boys in hygiene programmes, a gender strategy in communication that challenges existing gender attitudes and stereotypes and the mainstreaming of gender at policy level to support gender training and gender in training are also discussed.

This literature review focuses on education and training in the water supply, hygiene and environmental sanitation from a gender perspective. It discusses the school system, no-formal education alternatives, hygiene education in schools and education, training and communication in the context of projects vi-a-vis their approaches to gender. It also discusses how approaches chosen in education and training shape the relation between men and women and their social roles, and what the consequances are for work and status of women in the water and sanitation sector.

Despite the efforts in the past years, women are still in a disadvantaged position. The lower level of education for girls has several links with water supply, sanitation and health/hygiene education. Many of the causes and effects of the low attendance of girls to schools are analysed in the document. Also better trained teachers in health and hygiene matters and non-gender biased traching materials and books plus adequate curricula are requirements for moving the issue forward at this level.


Bibliography: p. 99-118

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Citation Key44903


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