SHOMOTA - strengthening gender equality and social inclusion in WASH in Bangladesh. 

Water for Women partners with World Vision Australia in the delivery of SHOMOTA - strengthening gender equality and social inclusion in WASH in Bangladesh. 


Bangladesh has a population of 166 million people, making it the eighth most populated country in the world. Despite having made significant gains in increasing water and sanitation coverage, there are still many who are unable to access basic WASH services that meet the national standard. This includes communities, particularly those in areas that are hard to reach due to geographical location, and marginalised populations, which include minority groups, women, elderly, and persons with disabilities.

While Bangladesh has made significant improvements in reducing open defecation, access to improved sanitation is still an area of concern.


Water for Women will be partnering with World Vision in delivering SHOMOTA - strengthening gender equality and social inclusion in WASH in several communities in Bangladesh, with an aim of reaching approximately 36,610 people. 

The goal of SHOMOTA is to improve gender and disability inclusive WASH in schools and communities.  The project will work with change agents to strengthen the capacity of sub-national government officials, schools and CBOs to build sustainable institutions, improve engagement throughout the sector to increase efficacy and drive improved WASH behaviours.  

The Project will:

  • Create space for women and people with disabilities to influence decisions related to resource allocation, design, and monitoring of WASH services. 
  • Facilitate the uptake of innovation and technologies by strengthening collaboration between different actors to increase demand for hygiene products and WASH technologies and providing incentives to local WASH entrepreneurs to supply them.
  • Through greater representation and meaningful participation, women and people with disabilities will influence social norms, institutions and communities to prioritise their needs. 

In total, the project will work in three districts covering a total of six sub districts and twelve unions, including: 

  1. Fulchari and Gaibandha Sadar sub districts in the district of Gaibandha, covering 4 unions.
  2. Islampur and Jamalpur Sadar sub districts in the district of Jamalpur, covering 4 unions.
  3. Assasuni and Sathkhira Sadar sub districts in the district of Sathkhira. 

Regional map of Bangladesh

SHOMOTA is expected to contribute ultimately to the goal of improved Gender and Socially Inclusive WASH in Schools and Communities in Jamalpur, Gaibandha, and Sathkhira districts of Bangladesh.


Project activities of SHOMOTA are designed to achieve four key end-of-project outcomes:

Outcome 1: Change agents actively support inclusive WASH services in schools and communities.

  • intermediate outcome:  public sector to play a leadership role in alignment with their mandate to provide WASH facilities and services
  • intermediate outcome: Citizens and CBOs WASH engaged and advocating government for inclusive planning, implementation and monitoring in schools and communities
  • intermediate outcome: private sector maximizes its potential role in providing market driven solutions to supplement government services for inclusive WASH.

Outcome 2: Increased equitable access to and use of inclusive WASH facilities and services in schools and communities.

  • intermediate outcome: schools and communities undertake WASH services
  • intermediate outcome: schools and community change agents are championing improved hand washing and hygiene behaviour, sanitation, water safety and water security practices.

Outcome 3: Increased dignity and meaningful engagement of women and people with disabilities in household, community and school decision-making.

  • intermediate outcome women and PWD are participating in community and schools
  • intermediate outcome: women and PWDs have increased individual agency in household WASH decisions
  • intermediate outcome: increase knowledge and provision for menstrual hygiene management for women and girls in target communities. 

Outcome 4: Evidence generated by the project on sustainable, inclusive WASH promotion is shared and implemented.

  • intermediate outcome: national WASH/INGO forums regularly hold GESI focused discussions
  • intermediate outcome: government systems, schools and communities outside project area are influence to improve GESI WASH.  

" In Bangladesh, lack of access to WASH services is an everyday reality for women and people with disabilities. The SHOMOTA project is changing this by breaking down barriers and creating access for those who have been left behind"

- Fred Witteveen, National Director, World Vision Bangladesh

Australia is investing in Bangladesh over a five-year period to achieve these outcomes. Water for Women is proud to be partnering with World Vision Australia in the delivery of SHOMOTA. Other partners we will be working with include: SKS Foundation, Centre for Disability in Development, Disabled Rehabilitation and Research Association, National Council of Disabled Women, BBC Media Action and Unilever Bangladesh.

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