WASH Progress from Senegal in focus during the 62nd CSW in New York

News

WSSCC and its partner UN Women co-convened a side event during the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2018.

The cross-cutting session, entitled Sanitation: the challenge of rural women and girls in West and Central Africa, highlighted the issue of unlocking multiple benefits for rural women and girls through policy and behaviour change in the WASH sector.

The Government of Senegal was a prominent partner in the session, and was represented by Madame Absa Wade Ngom, the Director of Equity and Gender Equality from the Ministry of Women, Family and Children. Ms Wade Ngom spoke passionately about the recent national progress linked to gender, hygiene and sanitation, stating:

“The multi-sectoral approach to addressing these issues in Senegal now includes government representatives from Environment, Gender, WASH and Education. Through research, capacity building and advocacy efforts, we are now seeing that issues which were once taboo, such as Menstruation, are now integrated into policies. The taboo is gone.”

The importance of breaking taboos and fighting stigma through evidence-based approaches on Menstrual Hygiene Management and other topics is core to the work of the Joint Programme, which works directly with government in Senegal, Cameroon and Niger. Ms. Virginia Kamowa, Technical Expert on MHM from WSSCC, presented on behalf of the partnership and highlighted some of the prominent results, including these from Senegal:

  • Over 8,400 individuals trained on Menstrual Hygiene
  • 3 comprehensive studies on women’s sanitation and hygiene behaviors and perceptions
  • New policies that include MHM: Sector Policy Letter 2016-2025 of the Water and Sanitation Ministry (PEPAM) and the Letter of Hygiene policy (SNEEG)

Ms. Kamowa also highlighted results from the region, and included some of the initial recommendations from the third-party evaluation of the joint programme, which will be published shortly.