Gender equality and social inclusion are central to WOBA. Actively involving all people within communities (women, men, marginalized groups, people with disabilities) ensures more effective and sustainable outcomes in water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as addressing and transforming inequalities.

The Women-Led Output-Based Aid (WOBA) program tackles water and sanitation barriers by delivering eduation, information and leadership through the Vietnam Women’s Union, a well-connected mobilizing force with 17 million members, to spur gender-transformative WASH into action.

In Southeast Asia, nearly 185 million people do not have basic sanitation facilities, and over 100 million people lack access to clean water. Resulting community health complications are deeply compounded in the realms of education, leadership, maternal and child health, and poverty eradication if the gender of the community member is female.

WOBA empowers women to enter the still largely male domain of decision-making and design processes around WASH.

Elaine Mercer, Institute of Development Studies

East Meets West/Thrive Networks trains Vietnam Women’s Union members to educate families about new and affordable solutions. The Women’s Union facilitates regular meetings with activities and information to engage and empower women, supporting them to identify their WASH challenges and providing them with advice, tools and options available to them. WOBA helps women build confidence to voice their specific needs and to communicate and negotiate these within their families, which spurs organic and sustainable gender equality in the broader community and subsequently within the construct of WASH programming and policy.