The Role of Female Local Government Members in Creating Wash Awareness in Bangladesh

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Authors: Bilqis Amin Hoque, Sufia Khanam, Sohel Ahmed, and Md. Abubakkor Siddik
Page Range: 53-65
Published in: International Journal of Energy, Environment, and Economics, Volume 30 Issue 1
ISSN: 1054-853X

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT

Women’s roles in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) management have been recognized for decades. In Bangladesh, female local government members (FLGMs) of the Union Parishad (UP) have rarely been involved in decision-making processes in WASH. The main objective of the study was to explore the role of FLGMs in enhancing community knowledge and awareness of WASH. The indicative action research was conducted in three unions in Matlab Uttar Upazila, Chandpur district, Bangladesh. The training-based interventions were provided to the UPs and FLGMs. Data has been collected through baseline and end-line household level surveys and key informant interviews. Following the first round of training, all UPs had incorporated FLGM as chair of the WASH standing committees and agreed on FLGM’s potential roles in WASH. FLGMs have performed their roles and conducted courtyard meetings, as reported by 44 percent of interviewees at the end-line. They also visited public places and created WASH awareness, which impacted the end-line survey. Results showed that the level of knowledge about the carcinogenic impacts of drinking arsenic-contaminated water improved by 10 percentage points. This study concluded that FLGM have a positive attitude towards WASH leadership, and they are seen as potential by the other representatives of the UPs and the community dwellers. The study suggests due attention should be given to proper and timely training for UPs and FLGMs in line with their roles and responsibilities.

Keywords: Hygiene; Local Government; Sanitation; Union Parishad; Women Empowerment

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