This policy brief aims to provide guidance on non-discrimination and equality in the context of access to drinking water and sanitation, with a particular focus on women and girls. It also informs readers on the duty of States and responsibilities of non-State actors.
- Discrimination against some groups is pervasive, persistent, and deeply entrenched in social behavior and organization. These may include homosexuals, homeless persons, people with HIV/AIDS, or persons from a specific caste or race.
- The sanitation needs of women and girls are often not considered, with many traditional practices or beliefs viewing menstruation as impure. Women and girls also reportedly suffered rape and other forms of sexual violence while attempting to use toilets.
- States must repeal discriminatory laws and practices, ensure levels of basic access for all, reform existing legislation, set targets, and monitor the performance of service providers.
- Non-State actors need to identify, prevent, and address any harm that does occur; demand data; identify and target marginalized groups; monitor progress; and have complaint mechanisms in place.