WSSCC Fulfils its SACOSAN VI Commitments to Train Governments and Influencers in South and South-East Asia with ‘MHM & Gender in WASH’ Training in Sri Lanka

Date: 16th November 2017

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By Julian Theseira

  • WSSCC committed to training senior government trainers in all SAARC countries in Menstrual Hygiene Management at the 6th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN VI) in January 2016, based on the demand from these countries.
  • The Training of Trainers (TOT) in Sri Lanka from November 24th – December 3rd responds to the demand from the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. This complements and builds on national TOTs completed for India, Nepal and Pakistan provided to government representatives from Nepal, India and Pakistan.
  • This ToT responds to countries where women and girls must surmount historic gender inequalities, discrimination and social injustice to meet their sanitation and hygiene needs.

WSSCC will facilitate a regional Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Training of Trainers (ToT) in Sri Lanka from 24th November to 1st December 2017. The ToT will be co-financed by the government of Sri Lanka.

Around 75 people will attend, including representatives of the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. These countries participated in the 2016 South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) in Dhaka. In addition, trainers from Nepal have been invited to consolidate their skills.

The objectives of the ToT are to support governments to integrate MHM into their policy and practice with a holistic approach, to create a cohort of trainers with the knowledge and skills on inclusive WASH & MHM, so that they can train and build a cadre of trainers at county and state level, who in turn will train health extension workers and water and sanitation practitioners, teachers, parents, and peers. Most importantly – menstrual hygiene provides a powerful entry point for transforming WASH services so that they address human needs across the lifecycle adapted by gender, age and physical ability .

This ToT is a continuation and expansion of WSSCC’s engagement with governments in the region in response to a strong demand from SACOSAN countries. WSSCC has previously provided MHM technical support (including policy, capacity building and training) to governments and development partners in many parts of India. The first regional TOT for Nepal and Pakistan was held in 2016 followed by a policy workshop in Nepal.

WSSCC’s work on MHM is an entry point to addressing historical gender inequalities, discrimination and social injustice. This work is particularly relevant in South Asia, where women and girls must surmount unique socio-cultural barriers while trying to meet their sanitation and hygiene needs, in particular with regards to menstrual hygiene management. This biological phenomenon has been surrounded by silence and shame, denying women and girls simple information and facilities to manage their menstruation with dignity and pride.

The Dhaka Declaration resulting from SACOSAN VI is available here.

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The full article on the Guardian’s Round Table discussion on Gender and Equality with comments from WSSCC’s Archana Patkar