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Publication Type : Conference Paper
Thematic Areas : Humanitarian-Robotics-HCI
Publisher : 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development
Source : 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), 2015.
Campus : Amritapuri
School : Center for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Department of Social Work
Center : Ammachi labs, Center for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality
Department : Social Work
Year : 2015
Abstract : Basic sanitation facilities are inaccessible to 40 percent of the world’s population (World HealthOrganization 2014). The call to address the Sixth Sustainable Development Goal of “Ensuringavailability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” has never been soimperative, particularly in a nation such as India where open defecation is most rampant(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html, accessed June 14, 2015; World HealthOrganization and UNICEF 2014). Girls and women in rural India are disproportionately affectedby limited access to adequate sanitation (WSSCC et al. 2013). Despite countless attempts tocounteract the practice of open defecation in India, the kind of attitudinal and behavioral changenecessary to end open defecation on a large and sustainable scale have yet to bring aboutwidespread toilet use (Coffrey et al. 2014). The limited extent to which sanitation projects haveachieved social inclusivity among marginalized communities is recognized as a contributingfactor to the persistence of poor sanitation in India (UN Water 2008; Coffrey et al. 2014). Thispaper will discuss early stages of an intervention that places a specific focus on engagingwomen in rural villages within India in the goal to end open defecation. The project, WomenEmpowerment: Sanitation (WE: Sanitation) is currently in implementation in seven statesthroughout India and proposes that the goal of improving sanitation may best be achieved byempowering women through vocational and life skill development. By training India’s mostunskilled population to build, use and maintain toilets, the problems of poor sanitation,community buy-in, as well as unskilled labor may be simultaneously addressed. This paper willdiscuss findings from the early stages of the WE: Sanitation intervention in rural villages withinthe Indian states of: Karnataka, Gujarat and Goa, where previous sanitation efforts have failedto take hold.
Cite this Research Publication : C. Coley, Sheshadri, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Training India’s first female toilet builders: An argument for improving sanitation through women empowerment and social inclusion”, in 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), 2015.