sulabh swatchh bharat

Monday, 11-December-2017

SANITATION = GENDER EQUALITY

According to IMF, improved access to sanitation facilities increases women’s labour force participation

Improving access to sanitation is essential for achieving gender equality and economic growth in India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. In its annual country-report on India, IMF said, “Poor sanitation not only adversely affects the availability and quality of water, but also has detrimental effects on education, welfare, and on people’s time-use and safety, as well as their life opportunities”.

IMF said its research suggests that improving access to sanitation is essential for achieving gender equality and economic growth in India. The economic benefits of improved sanitation may also include savings in health system costs, and reduction in illness-related days of work lost, it said.

According to the world-body’s recent research on India, improved access to sanitation facilities, by reducing the unpaid home and care burdens of women and by improving public safety of women, increases their labour force participation, leading to a positive impact on India’s real output and real per-capita incomes.

“Specifically, an improvement in public sanitation provisions which reduces women’s time spent in home and care work by close to 10 per cent leads to a 1.5 per cent increase in female labour participation and a 1.4 per cent gain in real GDP,” IMF said. In addition, cross-country analysis shows that it also leads to higher female literacy rates. Indeed, a simple scatter plot analysis of the data suggests that states with higher sanitation coverage have greater female literacy and female labour force participation, the report said.