WaterSHED’s Women’s Empowerment Program aims
to get more women engaged in the
water, sanitation and hygiene market
as business leaders, educators and informed consumers.
Through our Hands-Off approach we have helped small businesses make more than USD $6.5 million in toilet sales over the last five years. But few women take advantage of the industry’s growing economic opportunities. We know that an inclusive market will not only improve the lives of those women, it will also help to reach universal sanitation coverage in Cambodia.
We are focusing on four key areas to improve how women can better participate in the water, sanitation and hygiene market.
WEwork Collective: A business skills training and mentorship program to improve the productivity and decision-making power of women in the WASH market. More than 200 members from across the country are participating in workshops and form peer-support groups that will help strengthen their business planning skills, financial literacy and leadership.
Marketing by Women: Currently, less than a third of WaterSHED-supported representatives that promote clean water filters, toilets and portable sinks are women. We are using an action research method to uncover the challenges women face as sellers and designing new ways to better recruit and retain them in the market.
Marketing to Women: Women are the primary caregiver in Cambodia and often instigate purchases of toilets, water filters and sinks to protect their families’ health. We will adapt the current marketing materials to reflect women’s concerns and motivations as customers of WASH products.
Research: A key component of this program is to experiment, to capture what we learn, and to share that with the world. In addition to various studies we will produce practical, actionable guidelines for businesses, NGOs, and governments so that others can leverage the power of an inclusive market.
MEET THE WOMEN LEADING THE TOILET INDUSTRY IN CAMBODIA