by Swati Hegde., Ph.D.

March 10, 2020


We are delighted to present to you the 7th volume of wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water. The Journal of Gender and Water is an excellent platform for discussing global water and gender challenges and advancing this conversation at the University of Pennsylvania and beyond. We begin this issue with a review on water and sanitation challenges faced by women and children in urban slums owing to rapid urbanization in the developing world. A review by Sarah Goddard and Marnie Somer examines the state of knowledge with respect to menstrual health and hygiene in urban slums and provide recommendations to address this issue via informally organized solutions.

The central role of women in the water sector is undeniable, however, women are underemployed in water utilities around the world. In the next review, Swati Hegde discusses state of knowledge of women’s employment in US water utilities and the role of leadership in increasing gender diversity in this sector. Women leaders from several US Water Utilities are highlighted in this article.

Next, we have a comprehensive evaluation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions in 18 schools of the West Bengal, India. Akudo Ejelonu and coauthors through site visits and interviews evaluate WASH facilities by using metrics related to health, social, financial and technical aspects as well as governance.

Sue Cavill and Chelsea Huggett provide a gender equality perspective on construction of hygiene interventions and campaigns. They further characterize hand washing campaigns in place around the world and recommend the need for behavioral change in construction of such programs.

In their research work, Yashi Gupta and coauthors explore the gender sensitivity issues in an Indian city by contextualizing household water management and gender roles in water managements in the city. They further investigate how municipal water systems do not cover certain areas such as slums and what roles women are playing in household water management.

In our spotlight section, Pam Lazos discusses the role of non-profit organizations in outfitting the developing world with clean water. She further discusses her interview with a non-profit in Nicaragua on their effort to providing clean and safe water to households that do not have access to water.

Finally, the journal would like to congratulate Prescilla Awino for being a leader in sustainable enterprise in Kenya. The journal would like to support role models like Prescilla by publicizing their work now and in the future.

I would like to take a moment and thank all the authors, reviewers and contributors for participating in the journal’s successful journey. As the journal continues to evolve, we invite researchers and practitioners around the world to submit articles on topics that are at the intersection of gender and water including but not limited to water and sanitation, innovations in the water sector, social and environmental justice and challenges faced by climate change.