Discussions of gender in sanitation and hygiene often focus on the roles, positions or impacts on women and girls. Such a focus is critical to improving the gendered outcomes in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), as women and girls bear the greatest burden of WASH work yet are often excluded from planning, delivery and monitoring community WASH activities as a result of having less power, resources, time and status than their male peers. However, current efforts to improve sanitation and change social norms may not always actively engage men and boys in the most effective way. There is more to learn about how the roles men and boys actually play out in improving use of safe sanitation and improved hygiene practices and – if necessary – how the engagement strategies can be modified to make efforts more successful.
This issue of Frontiers of CLTS shares and builds on the learning from a desk study that explores examples of men's and boys' behaviours and gender roles in sanitation and hygiene. Of particular interest is the extent to which the engagement of men and boys in S&H processes is leading to sustainable and transformative change in households and communities and reducing gendered inequality.
The review focuses on men and boys: how to engage them (or not), how to mobilise them as allies in the transformation of S&H outcomes and the problems they contribute to and experience.