Gender-Responsive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Key Elements for Effective WASH Programming

This document outlines essential elements that WASH practitioners should take into account at all points in the programme cycle in order to enhance a gender-responsive approach to their work.

WASH and gender equality are represented in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 and 5, respectively, and also contribute to the achievement of other sectoral goals across the development agenda. Likewise,UNICEF’s Strategy for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (2016- 2030)and UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) recognize the importance of leveraging linkages across sectors to deliver priority interventions for children and adolescents that are well-resourced, innovative, and expert-led in order to maximize quality, reach and sustainability.

WASH programming, in times of peace and humanitarian crisis, reduces the burden of access to water, improves hygiene facilities and provides dignified menstrual hygiene management (MHM). These are significant contributors to the GAP’s programming priorities, including:

  • To advance girls’ secondary education by providing safe, girl-friendly bathrooms with provision for MHM in schools
  • To help prevent gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies by having safe, well-sited water collection points and safe, well-lit women- and girl-friendly sanitation facilities with provision for MHM

Last modified: September 30, 2021

Language: English