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Opinion Piece, Editorial Address Access To Clean Water, Hygiene, Sanitation On World Water Day

Devex: Opinion: Fixing water fixes gender parity
Amanda Gimble, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Safe Water Network, and Venkatesh “Venky” Raghavendra, vice president of advancement at Safe Water Network

“…Expanding safe water and women’s participation in its provision through small water enterprises — businesses that provide safe, reliable, affordable water to communities in need — increases economic opportunity for women, benefits communities, and contributes to the health and well-being of families. When affordable and safe water supply exists in a community, women and girls have more time to engage in other activities, including education and employment. It opens avenues for greater income generation and a better quality of life, including better health and nutrition. … Gender mainstreaming in the water sector could help to fix water issues and address the lack of gender parity. … We call on all stakeholders, and particularly policymakers, governments, multilaterals, and other funders to invest in women … by addressing the societal reforms needed — investing in training and capacity-building programs for women, providing equal access to resources, and supporting the continued building of an evidence base to look at water more directly and closely through the gender lens… (3/21).

The Lancet: On the question of water: a matter of life and death
Editorial Board

“The theme of this year’s World Water Day on March 22 — Leaving No One Behind — is a commitment to those who are disproportionately affected by insufficient access to safe water, such as women, children, refugees, and socioeconomically marginalized people. The urgency of this task is cemented in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 — to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water, the provision of adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, and cessation of open defecation by 2030. … In India, the need to achieve SDG 6 is acute. … Although a national survey reported that 96.5 percent of those with access to toilets use them, an unacceptable number of Indian citizens do not have access to basic hygiene and sanitation — a human right to ensure health and dignity. … Innovative solutions in water and sanitation delivery are the way forward. In India, as in many other parts of the world, people will continue to be left behind unless these solutions are sustainable, culturally competent, safe, and convenient” (3/23).