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Lund University (2019)

Understanding women’s empowerment in WASH. A case study in the cascades and centre-sud regions of Burkina Faso

Häggström, Julia

Titre : Understanding women’s empowerment in WASH. A case study in the cascades and centre-sud regions of Burkina Faso

Auteur : Häggström, Julia

Université de soutenance : Lund University

Grade : H2 - Master’s Degree (Two Years) 2019

Résumé
The understanding of the link between the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector and gender has been extensively researched and is widely accepted as foundational for achieving safe and equal provision of WASH-facilities. Interventions aimed at improvements in the sector are common in low- and middle-income countries, however, there is a limited number of approaches for measuring their outcomes. In this thesis, a newly developed index for investigating the relationship between the WASH-sector, gender and empowerment is tested through a mixed-methods case study in Burkina Faso. The study consists of two separate but interlinked parts ; one performing Cognitive Validity Testing (CVT) on the index and one aiming to investigate factors that influence women’s empowerment and local definitions of empowerment. Data was gathered through focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and structured interviews. The data from the first part of the study is analysed using descriptive statistics and In Vivo Coding. Data from the second part is analysed through thematic analysis guided by two theories of women’s empowerment. The CVT showed no major flaws in the design of the index. The main finding is that there are variations in people’s definitions of used concepts. The most important factor for personal empowerment in the study setting is the ability to provide for your family. The results show that women are confident in managing WASH but have little influence on decision-making processes both in and outside the household, posing important obstacles for achieving women’s empowerment. The results of this thesis further strengthen the importance of this index and prove its usability for monitoring and evaluating interventions. The findings of this study should guide future development of the index and analysis of data gathered using the index. The findings also provide an insight to the importance of considering contextual variations of definitions.

Mots Clés  : Burkina Faso, Cognitive Validity Testing, Empowerment in WASH Index, Sustainability Science, WASH, Women’s Empowerment.

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Page publiée le 5 juin 2020