Lack of appropriate and hygienic sanitation facilities, at home or in public places, forces women and girls to adopt a range of coping strategies, impacting on their health and exposing them to psycho-social stress. The risks are multiple and cumulative, occurring across the duration of a woman’s life, and yet this remains an underexplored issue.
So, in 2013 SHARE partnered with the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council, to fund four studies examining the impacts of poor WASH facilities on women and girls across India:
- Psychosocial Impact of Limited Access to Sanitation
- WASH Coping Strategies
- WASH & CLEAN
- Sanitation Vulnerability
Three of these looked specifically at the psychosocial stress and sanitation-related violence experienced by women and girls as a result of poor access to safe and hygienic sanitation facilities, the behaviours and coping strategies that they employ throughout their life course to deal with such circumstances, and the adverse health outcomes that may result from individual level stress and hygiene behaviour.