Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. [Source: Wikipedia]. In the WASH sector, gender generally refers to (i) the identification of the felt needs and priorities of men and women; (ii) the gender-specific assessment of health, socio-economic and environmental aspects; (iii) the baseline on women’s living conditions and possible impact of interventions on women; (iv) the formulation of gender-specific project objectives and strategies [Source: Wijk-Sijbesma, C.A. van, 1995. Gender in community water supply, sanitation and water resource protection : a guide to methods and techniques. (Occasional paper series / IRC no. 23) The Hague, the Netherlands].
Equity is the moral imperative to dismantle unjust differences. It is based on principles of fairness and justice. In the context of water, sanitation and hygiene, equity, like equality, requires a focus on the most disadvantaged and the poorest. Many organisations in the sector have made equity a central part of their agenda; however, from a human rights perspective, relying on equity carries certain risks because it is a malleable concept that is not legally binding. [Source: De Albuquerque, C., 2014. Realizing the human rights to water and sanitation : a handbook. Booklet 9 : Sources. Glossary, bibliography and index. Geneva, Switzerland: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). P. 7]
A brainstorming session being conducted by the India Chapter of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, IRC, WaterAid, UNICEF and India Sanitation Coalition on how to encourage Panchayats to move beyond just infrastructure creation to sustainable service delivery with a rights-based approach.
The theme of the conference is: Prioritising and refocusing sustainable WASH services delivery – lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. IRC Ghana and partners will host a side-event on 3 November on leaving no one behind.