Influence of gender mainstreaming on sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene(Wash) activities in Maranda division, Bondo sub county, Kenya
Josiah, Damaris Kamanthe
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Mainstreaming gender 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. This study reviewed global, regional and the national background of gender mainstreaming and its effects on sustainability of WASH activities. The achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and elimination of poverty is hinged on improved access to water supply and appropriate sanitation. Apart from health benefits, improved water service delivery increases the community’s economic well-being because more time is dedicated to economically productive activities rather than searching and/or fetching water. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of gender mainstreaming on sustainability WASH activities in Maranda division of Bondo Sub County. This study was guided by the following objectives; first to establish the extent to which gender mainstreaming in WASH design influences the sustainability of WASH activities, secondly to assess the extent to which gender mainstreaming in WASH implementation influences the sustainability of WASH activities, thirdly to examine how gender mainstreaming in WASH monitoring influences the sustainability of WASH activities and lastly to establish how gender mainstreaming in WASH evaluation influences the sustainability of WASH activities. The study was conducted using the descriptive survey design which was used to establish the influence of gender mainstreaming on sustainability of WASH activities. The target population consisted of 291 heads of households selected from 25 community WASH groups. The study employed probability sampling design particularly simple random sampling techniques in selection of the respondents. Research instruments used comprised of questionnaires, for capturing quantitative data and in-depth interviews for collection of qualitative data. This study used ten respondents from the target population to pilot the research instruments. Reliability was ensured by carrying out a test and retest on the research instruments in selected group members and three key informants. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches in processing and analysing the data. Analysis was done using frequencies, percentages and content analysis. The findings indicated that equal participation of both women and men in the WASH life cycle would contribute towards operation and sustainability of such facilities. However, the community being patriarchal, it was felt that there is a lot which need to be done to bring a balance in the level of community participation as pertains the designing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the WASH activities. This involves sound community sensitizations and government policies. The revelations were considered in the study as contributions to body of knowledge. Few gaps came out during the study and hence policy and areas for further study were also suggested.