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A REPORT CARD ON WATER AND SANITATION: NUMBER 5, SEPTEMBER 2006 View Previous Editions>

The gender gap

The gender gap

Women and girls bear more of the consequences of poor water, sanitation and hygiene, as they are usually the ones who fetch the water and care for the children and other household members who fall sick from water-related diseases.

In addition, girls’ school attendance is affected the most by inadequate water and sanitation facilities in schools and by time spent travelling long distances to drinking-water sources.

Girls and women need greater privacy for personal hygiene than men. In the absence of private sanitation facilities, there have been cases where women limit their food and water intake so they can relieve themselves under cover of darkness; yet night-time trips to fields or roadsides may put them at risk of physical attack.