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Hello Sanitation Marketing experts: I'm working on developing a tool that guides users on mainstreaming gender-equity into sanitation marketing programme design and implementation. Do you have any resources that would be useful for this work? Do you have any thoughts on this topic? What are some of the potential challenges when designing a sanitation marketing campaign that is gender-aware or gender-transformative? What are the some of the potential benefits that exist? Do you have any experiences or case studies you can provide? Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Hilary WASH Assistant Plan Canada

Dear Hilary,

It is great to hear there is a tool being developed, there’s definitely a need and a gap.  Certainly as different consumer segments there are differences in what’s a desirable latrine for men and for women and programmes can respond to this to improve their impact, and sustainability.  It is something that is more included as points of attention in guides to sanitation, or water and sanitation and more specifically sanitation marketing, the resources section is a good place to start.

Key points would be

Ensuring consumer and formative research is designed to clearly identify any differences between men and women in preferences for designs and attributes, in triggers and motivations and communication channels.  

Understanding the gendered decision making processes at the household level in latrine purchases and ensuring marketing strategies then respond to this in a positive way either separately or encouraging shared decision making depending on the context.

Making visible the important role that females can play in the supply chain and using strategies that provide opportunities for new roles and economic opportunities.

Considering how supporting BCC can seek to positively promote more shared roles, engage men and avoid reinforcing stereotypes.

For example, WSP in Cambodia highlighted that research in that context in 2008 showed “latrine purchase decision involves both men and women, in different ways. Whilst men and women could therefore be targeted separately, it was recognized as important to encourage household discussion between men and women on the subject of investments for latrine ownership. The study showed that women in this context were more responsive to consumer messages, while men are more interested in the technical aspects of a sanitation facility.

Danielle recently shared the example that included gender considerations in the market briefs from the WSP-IFC Selling Sanitation initiative with the Kenyan Ministry of Health 

In SNVs rural sanitation programs in Asia promoting the role of females as masons in the supply chain, often overlooked in training opportunities despite working as assistant masons, not only proved effective in marketing to women but also transformed attitudes towards traditional roles and provided more equitable access to economic opportunities.  It’s documented in a learning brief and for an example of the gender strategy for masons training refer to the training manual.

Good luck, I would love to hear how you go in developing the tools and perhaps if you come across any examples please do share.

Gabrielle Halcrow

Answer thanks to:

Gabrielle Halcrow

Gabrielle Halcrow is the regional coordinator for SNVs Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All Programme in Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. She has a technical background in public health with over 16 years professional experience working with WASH, public health and programme management with both governments and international development organisations, including SNV and World Vision. She has a focus on and commitment to capacity development approaches towards developing sustainable sanitation services, gender and social inclusive approaches and behaviour change communication. Her professional qualifications include a Bachelor of App Science (Environmental Health), a Masters of Public Health (International Health and Development) further post-graduate qualifications in Water and Environmental Management (WEDC) and Sustainable Development Policy.


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