Waterand SanitationWater is an elemental requirementin life to sustain. With varying climate changes and increasing pollution, thequality and accessibility of water is subsequently affected. Water has,therefore, become one of the core issues of sustainable development. As definedin the report of the WorldCommission on Environment and Development (1987), sustainabledevelopment is “development that meets the needs of the present withoutcompromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs”.However, meeting these needs also requires an assurance that everyone getstheir fair share of access to resources so as to sustain growth.
Increase inglobal population as well as rising pollution and lack of access to clean waterhas led to a growing need to balance demands on water resources so that every personhas enough for their needs (UN.org,n.d.).
While water is a basicnecessity for life, sanitation is fundamental to health (Lowe Morna,2000), thus, water and sanitationcannot be seen in isolation from each other. Roughly 2.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water whilealmost 4.5 billion people lack improved sanitation facilities (World Health Organization, 2017).Most of the rural population, specially women and children are most affected bywater scarcity and poor sanitation. Women and girls, in many parts of theworld, shoulder the responsibility of provision and management of water at thedomestic level. In rural areas where access to water is not readily available,women bear the task to deliver water from sources that are located away fromtheir vicinity, thereby, travelling long distances in order to get clean waterfor household and agricultural purposes. Since people in therural areas lack sufficient financial resources, proper sanitation facilitiesare, therefore, unavailable to them.
Without sanitation facilities, women tendto relieve themselves either in the night or early in the morning so to as toavoid being seen by men (Brown,2010). The policy brief ‘Gender, Water and Sanitation’ published by the UN-Water department in2006, briefly explores the issue of water management and sanitation,specially looking at the roles and responsibilities of women globally. Policieson management and provision of water resources and improved sanitationfacilities often overlook the role of women and the abundant knowledge they possesson the subject. The policy brief addresses this issue of involvement of womenin formulating policies and projects to improve water accessibility and sanitationprovision by addressing particular issues of concern and providingrecommendations to ensure gender perspective in global water and sanitation projects.