STUDENT PROJECT: Adolescent Girls 2014-15
During the first year of UniWASH project, the anthropology students identified adolescent girls as an especially vulnerable group of people who would need special attention in WASH related issues.
Identifying adolescent girls as an area of special interest
Gender relations and inequalities in the society, especially in terms of access to education, are critical issues to keep in mind when working to improve water, sanitation and hygiene situation in schools.
During the first year, the anthropology students conducted multiple studies where gender issues were one of the key themes. Some of the students spent extended time in the field deepening their knowledge understanding of the cultural and societal context. The purpose of this research was to support the gender sensitivity in the other WASH ideas created by the students.
During the research the students focused on understanding how gender affects the lives of children in rural Northern Uganda, especially during adolescence. The themes varied from education, puberty and society to hygiene and material solutions. To create understanding about the issues from multiple perspectives, girls and boys, teachers, parents (female and male members of the family separately), village elders and leaders, municipal authorities, and NGO representatives were interviewed.
Three key aspects that may affect the lives of adolescent girls both positively and negatively:
- Availability/condition of menstrual hygiene management facilities in schools
- Availability/quality of puberty and sexual education in schools and the role of parents
- Grade of community involvement