A new Rollins-led review article published in PLOS Water is the most comprehensive synthesis to date of current evidence on water and sanitation and women’s and girls’ empowerment. Bethany A. Caruso, PhD, MPH, was lead author on the article, which was entirely Emory authored.
With women carrying much of the burden for WASH-related activities at a global scale, investigating the ways in which women’s and girls’ empowerment is impacted by WASH programing is critical in developing effective public health initiatives.
“Effective WASH programming could engage women to understand their needs and support them with the resources and agency to improve their circumstances,” says Caruso. “Yet, this review illuminates how poor water and sanitation conditions have resulted in myriad negative impacts on women, which continue to remain unaddressed. Women risk physical and sexual violence, experience illness and injury, compromise their mental wellbeing, limit hygiene and food and water intake, and suppress sanitation and menstrual hygiene needs because of inadequate WASH.”