Integrating Women’s Empowerment Programming into a Market-Based Sanitation Intervention in Rural Cambodia

January 2019

In 2016, WaterSHED introduced the WEwork Collective, a multidimensional women’s economic empowerment programme in rural Cambodia that provided technical support and mentorship to help women succeed in WASH income-generating activities (IGAs), such as latrine sales, WASH product retail, and owning or operating latrine supply businesses. The study identifies a set of characteristics of women to help predict current WASH job status, retention and satisfaction in WASH IGAs and the attributes of IGAs by which women evaluate IGAs, form preferences, and decide which IGAs to engage in.

Who might find this resource useful and why?

Who: Sanitation marketing agencies, private sector advisors promoting female-owned businesses and entrepreneurship in WASH markets, development partners, WASH NGOs.

Why: Small-scale enterprises have an important role in sustainable WASH service delivery, with a focus on promoting equitable outcomes for the poor. In particular, efforts have been made to increase women’s involvement in WASH-related enterprises. There is a need to better understand women’s entrepreneurship as well as the motivators and barriers for enterprises and the business support mechanisms required. This study describes the challenges hindering women’s access to starting and growing a latrine hardware businesses, as well as profitably selling WASH products and services in their communities. Recommendations are made on the how to support women to succeed in WASH income-generating activities – entrance, recruitment retention, and satisfaction in the WASH market. The findings can be used to support more effective programming and engagement.


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