Barriers to inclusion in the WASH sector: insights from Uganda
In the WASH SDG Programme, Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) is a transversal topic in the different phases of the programme. As such, there was a GESI assessment done in 2018 during the inception phase of the programme to identify who is left behind and which barriers the socially excluded groups are often facing. From this assessment, our assumptions and expectations on barriers to inclusion were challenged by the relationships and differences we found in the field. In order to make sure “no one is left behind” it is vital to research why and how certain groups are excluded. We have to know the root causes of exclusion to reach inclusion and have to be context specific. There could be different types of barriers hindering socially excluded groups (e.g. social/cultural, economic, technical, political and technological) and these need to be well understood in order to address and remove them. WASH (Eau, ASsainissement et Hygiène) programmes need to go beyond inviting marginalised groups to participate in meetings. Attending a meeting does not naturally translate into the voices of the marginalized being heard or will not contribute to removing the barriers that hinder social inclusion. Incorporation of GESI into the WASH programme cycle can help addressing gender and inclusion differences and change these relations over time.
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