Women and young girls in informal urban spaces are deeply impacted by bad sanitation, especially during menstruation,with long-term developmental consequences. The Swachh Bharat Mission Urban, India, aims to build toilets and improve city sanitation infrastructure to better the availability, access, and everydayness of sanitation experiences for the poor people. Access to sanitation for women is subject to the intersectionality of various social inequalities productive of women’s un-agency’ as much as ‘good’ sanitation practice. This research is aimed at feminising the sanitation discourse by building knowledge around and mapping women's and young girls’ perspectives and their socio-cultural subjectivity. The research was conducted across ten low-income/slum settlements in diverse geographies of Delhi and with 201 women and young girls and 48 boys and men. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods was used that emphasised participation. Participatory Learning and Action tools were feminised and used in combination with semiotic storytelling and questionnaire surveys to gather primary data. Proxy indicators were used to understand the embedded socialization around sanitation practices. The study findings were segmented into four parts –Shauchalaya (toilets), Sharam (shame), Samaj Karan (socialization) and Swabhiman (dignity). Looking at sanitation from these four aspects is an attempt to create the connections between the shared toilet with feelings of shame and one’s own socialization process. The key findings of the report indicate that empowerment of women, their right to live decent and productive lives and the construction of safe and functional household toilets are intertwined, and therefore, sanitation as a segue to women’s empowerment needs to be recognized and integrated into India’s sanitation discourse.
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