Three conversational articles, drawing on a breadth of literature, are now available on our website. These address three key issues important for gender equality in WASH: women’s empowerment, intersectionality, and voice and leadership.

The three articles aim to make accessible the debates and complexities associated with each of these concepts and ideas. Their development has been a collaborative effort, with many of our partners and the GESI Fund coordinator staff providing review, critique and new ideas for us to integrate. Through this process we received positive feedback on the relevance and usefulness of synthesising the latest thinking and debates on the three topics. A huge thanks to all those partners who reviewed and provided input!

In the first article we discuss the barriers to women’s leadership and voice, which operate at multiple levels and through informal and formal norms and practices. The article goes on to explore what it takes to support women’s leadership and voice in communities, workplaces, in politics and more broadly in order to achieve transformative development.

The second article delves into the literature that gave rise to the concept of intersectionality, the debates that informed its evolution and use, and shares insights on how to conduct intersectional research practice.

The third article highlights the importance for development programs to support the transformation of the economic, political and social structures within which women, in all their diversity, live, in order to meaningfully contribute to women’s empowerment. In this article, we explore how development organisations understand, measure and support empowerment.

We hope these articles prove useful for our CSO WASH partners participating in the Water for Women Fund, as well as development practitioners and researchers more broadly.