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TitleOccasional paper : adjusting the women's programme
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsPK, B(Province)
Pagination36 p.: drwngs., tab.
Date Published1994-01-01
PublisherPakistan, Local Government & Rural Development Dept., Water & Sanitation Cell
Place PublishedQuetta, Pakistan
Keywordsgender, health education, objectives, pakistan, pakistan baluchistan, planning, priority setting, projects, safe water supply, sanitation, women

Some 30 percent of the rural population in Balochistan, Pakistan has a good water supply and 2 percent a safe latrine. Irrigation channels are used for domestic water supply and waste disposal. A three-year project with Dutch financial aid aims at institutional strengthening of the local government, developing sustainable community-managed schemes and installing 1937 village handpump schemes and 9685 sanitation schemes in 13 districts, starting in 5. Originally, women's involvement was seen as equal to hygiene education for women. Now the programme follows a gender approach, which includes new roles for women and men. The Water and Sanitation Cell (WSC) in the Department implements the projects with local water users groups, male and female. They sign a contract with the WSC, with the responsibilities of both parties. The participation programmes for women and men are separate and the cell sees that the women's views get combined with the men's. Thus handpumps and latrines are located by both. Otherwise these get sited at mosques and in guest-rooms, public places inaccessible to women. The programme informs women on the projects, conveys women's choices in siting to the men, adjusts facilities (e.g. for washing) and stresses men's financial responsibilities. Education on safe handling and storage of water, proper operation of latrines and handwashing aims at women and children and is given to women. Men get separate education as women cannot directly teach husbands. Methods are speech, discussion, demonstration and participatory methods (neighbourhood mapping, discussion posters, card sorting, story with a gap, plastic latrine models and latrine layout drawings on cotton). The document gives six steps of the women's programme and how they fit into the steps of the men's programme. Changes in hygiene education are a gender approach and a greater intensity on fewer and project-selected (key risk) topics. Four extra topics (dehydration, breast-feeding, weaning food and first aid) were added to adjust to women's local priorities. The following section gives the lessons from the first phase. Capable female staff are not hard to find and female reputation is safeguarded by travelling with two women on each team. However, continuity is difficult due to the non-permanent character of the cell, the low (rural) salaries offered, the demands of combining travel with caring for children and the elderly, lack of family support, existence of better job opportunities and marital change (marriage, children). A permanent status is essential for better continuity.
The senior women had experienced working with men, but male staff of LGRDD were not and found the presence of elder, more experienced and better educated women in the joint training hard to accept and initial disrespect was shown. Joint training with men for lower level female staff was initially a cultural shock. In the field male and female staff are both responsible for bringing the women into the participation process. In practice the female staff receive no help. Also, working with the men, who have experience in this type of process, is initially quicker and the female staff have problems in adjusting the pace to the less experienced of the women. As hygiene education sessions are not part of the seven formal steps they tend to be left out of trainings. The manuals are mainly used in training, less in the field. In the field a separate strategy was found necessary with Pashtun villages, where segregation is stricter. Only old and youngest women are mobile and can attend meetings; they inform the other women. Means to communicate between women and men are also more restricted, so communal viewpoints and decisions take long. In Baloch areas More freedom exists in Baloch areas, so communication is direct and decisions are quicker. Baloch areas also have less water and a higher hygiene culture than Pashtun villages where water is more abundant. Men are reluctant to invest in latrines. They have no privacy problems and few benefits as they are not home during the day and are shy to visit latrines under the eyes of women. Women are highly motivated but have no decision-making power. The experiences have been incorporated in a revised steps programme. A major change is the earlier introduction of the latrine programme to motivate the men, and the integration of hygiene education. Attitude building of men and team building gets more attention in training. Male staff with longer experience are encouraged to influence new colleagues. District women staff are now trained separately and more informally and confidence is built. Staff are first shown how to do activities in one village, then do them themselves in a second village with the help of the trainer. The new manual has less text and more pictures and has become more of a checklist than a handbook. The gender approach, though very new, is making remarkable progress, also because nearby villages are more open to change as a result of positive stories from their neighbours.

Custom 1202.1, 302.1, 822



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