Athena Infonomics today announced their win of a Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) research call to look at the role of women’s decision making in Kenya’s sanitation sector. The year-long study will look at both barriers to women adopting decision making roles in sanitation-related public bodies and attitudinal differences between male and female decision-makers.
The study will build on existing research regarding the impacts of gender inclusion in executive decision making, and the attitudinal differences between men and women when it comes to sanitation needs and priorities. While policy responses have called for a gender mainstreaming in the sector, such as including women from targeted recipient populations and inclusivity in institutional structures of services providers, preliminary evidence from the region thus far has yielded mixed results. Furthermore, the research literature indicates a gender-gap for the public sector – particularly national regulators and urban utilities.
“We are excited to be working on a project that will collate data from technicians and decision makers in the realm of national policies and urban management of services in Kenya,” said Deepa Karthykeyan, co-founder and director at Athena. “This will be useful context for future research looking at the relative impact of gender balance in the workforce on the effectiveness of sanitation policy and practice in addressing gender equity gaps.”