Table 2

Sanitation-specific definitions for sub-domains of empowerment, by domain

Sub-domainSanitation-specific definition
Decision-makingWomen influence and make decisions about sanitation inside and outside the home.
LeadershipWomen assume leadership positions, effectively participate and support women’s leadership in informal and formal sanitation initiatives and organisations.
Collective actionWomen gain solidarity and take action collectively on sanitation-related issues.
Freedom of movementWomen have the autonomy to move freely to access sanitation facilities, collect water for sanitation-related needs and/or attend forums on sanitation issues, and women have freedom of movement despite sanitation circumstances.
Bodily integrityWomen’s control over their bodies and ability to access and use their preferred sanitation location.
HealthWomen’s complete physical, mental and social well-being as affected by sanitation options and conditions; not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.35
Safety and securityWomen’s freedom from acts or threats of violence (physical or sexual), coercion, harassment, or force when accessing and using sanitation locations or engaging in sanitation-related decision-making processes in the public sphere.
PrivacyWomen’s ability to maintain desired levels of privacy when accessing and using sanitation locations.
Critical consciousnessWomen’s ability to identify and question how inequalities in power operate in their lives in relation to sanitation access and decision-making processes, and to assert and affirm their self-efficacy inside and outside of the household as it relates to sanitation.
Financial and productive assetsWomen’s control over economic resources and long-term stocks of value such as land, for the purposes of meeting individual and household sanitation needs.
TimeWomen’s control over their time and labour spent on sanitation-related tasks and activities.
Social capitalWomen’s relations and social networks that provide tangible and intangible value and support, including those that enable them to complete sanitation-related tasks and activities.
Knowledge and skillsWomen’s knowledge and skills related to sanitation (eg, operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities) and their abilities to apply those knowledge and skills.
Institutional structures
NormsCollectively held expectations and beliefs of how women and men should behave and interact inside and outside the household, specifically with regard to sanitation-related (a) division of labour; (b) decision-making; (c) leadership; (d) collective action and (e) freedom of movement.
RelationsThe interactions and relations—including conflicts, support, hostility and communication—with key actors that shape women’s sanitation-related experiences.