A special one-day event organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights shed light on the challenges women face in exercising their fundamental rights to access water, sanitation, and hygiene without discrimination. This report summarizes the day's discussions, focused on WASH and women's rights through three case studies and a look at changing international development standards.
- In Sonagachi, India's largest red-light district, marginalized and stigmatized sex workers have mobilized to cooperatively meet their sanitation and hygiene needs while fighting for their rights at the political level.
- While women in Nepal have limited access to sanitation and hygiene, lesbian and transgender women have even greater difficulty accessing WASH facilities as a result of the social stigma they face.
- In Senegal, the NGO Tostan trained 50 influencers to start conversations in their communities about the practice of female genital mutilation and its effects on women and girls. As a result, 5,800 communities have abandoned excision altogether.
- Women are entitled to universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene as part of their fundamental human rights. However inadequate access to WASH in violation of these rights is currently not being treated with the same urgency as other development issues. This could change in the Post-2015 development agenda.