“Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programs, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality”. (ECOSOC, 1997)
Even though international law guarantees women and men equal rights in the enjoyment of all human rights, women and girls continue to face inequalities in virtually all societies. Women and children are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and shoulder the largest burden in water collection worldwide.
The Ryan’s Well Foundation takes great pride in ensuring that our programs promote gender equity. We work hand in hand with our local partners to identify the different needs, interests, and priorities of women as well as men. Our staff is continuously aware of gender issues related to WASH and is constantly on the lookout for best practices that can be implemented in our projects. Ensuring that our WASH committees are often led by women is our way of making sure that physical and cultural aspects as well as gender equalities are addressed. Ryan’s Well initiatives have provided for the key necessities of life- the essential foundations for people and their communities to develop and grow through better health, higher education levels and improved opportunities to move from the harsh cycle of deprivation to a more promising future.
The WASH sector can contribute to redressing inequality and can positively impact the social, political and economic position of women. The Ryan’s Well Foundation adopts a gender sensitive, participatory approach at all stages of a project to help ensure that an adequate and efficient response to the clean water and sanitation crisis is provided. We aim to support the full participation of women in the implementation and sustainability of our WASH efforts. The Ryan’s Well Foundation firmly believes that a gendered approach to WASH effort can create a framework of cooperation between men and women.