Integrating Gender Equality in WASH Emergency Response in the Central African Republic

  • Beatrice MoselloEmail author
  • Virginie Le Masson
  • Gladys Le Masson
  • Elena Diato
  • Véronique Barbelet
Part of the Water Security in a New World book series (WSEC)


The delivery of basic services such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) remains a challenge in contexts affected by protracted conflicts. Access to these services is mediated by the identities of providers and beneficiaries, as well as their perspectives of what are the most pressing needs. As such, they are entangled in complex formal and informal rules and power relations from the household all the way to the national level. In recognition of such complexities, the humanitarian sector has increasingly integrated a gender lens to its work. Numerous studies have highlighted the ways, advantages, and difficulties linked to mainstreaming gender in humanitarian programming. What has been less investigated, however, is how gender sensitive programming relates to the core principles of impartiality and ‘do no harm’ in humanitarian action. Through a case study of WASH programming in the Central African Republic, this chapter aims to better understand how to reconcile people’s equal access and control of water and sanitation in conflict or post-conflict contexts. We argue that gender sensitive programming cannot be a secondary thought but must be a critical element of an effective and impartial humanitarian intervention. The case study also contributes to the existing literature by focusing on the WASH sector, while most discussions on gender mainstreaming in humanitarian interventions have been confined to protection, thus missing important dimensions of empowerment at societal level through the provision of basic services such as water and sanitation.


WASH Gender mainstreaming Humanitarian programming Gender sensitive programming Reconciliation Humanitarian intervention Empowerment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatrice Mosello
    • 1
    Email author
  • Virginie Le Masson
    • 1
  • Gladys Le Masson
    • 2
  • Elena Diato
    • 3
  • Véronique Barbelet
    • 1
  1. 1.Overseas Development InstituteLondonUK
  2. 2.Independent consultantLondonUK
  3. 3.Gruppo di Volontariato CivileBolognaItaly

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