WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), as well as a standard definition for it, should be taken seriously by wealthy societies or families as there is urgent need to rethink it. In particular, sex education should begin to be considered a fundamental factor of successful WASH policies.
By Motahareh Lotfaliani
WASH (Water, Sanitation, Sanitation) is one of the most pressing issues in the world and is closely linked to most of
the Sustainable Development Goals.
Given to this assumption, WASH should be implemented as one of the basic human rights of low-income people and societies. These societies are primarily water-deficient, which can lead to poor hygiene. To tackle the issue, we need to rethink the problem and put sex education at the forefront of hygiene. If we omit the important element of water scarcity, affluent societies face the same situation.
Let us look at some other key terms, such as self-esteem. Self-esteem is defined as self-worth; in other words, accepting human beings on the basis of complete equality is at the heart of it. Human beings who have poor self-esteem are no longer human beings, but products.
How does a society with low self-esteem work?
At first look, the society may appear to be composed of equals – sometimes it may even appear as not clearly patriarchal. However, an easy rationalization to describe truthfully people in these societies is “they tend not to like themselves“.
In this society, self-worthiness is easily replaced by self-loathing and human beings could be divided into two
groups: self-love and self-hatred. Because self-love is frequently misconstrued as selfishness, and interference is a powerful indicator to describe this word, both lead to the same bold conclusion: self-hatred.
People who dislike themselves are readily influenced by external variables, such as religious beliefs, social activities and so on. Their self-care is influenced solely by these factors.
It may be claimed that under the current system, where people’s personalities are shaped primarily by materialistic indicators (higher education, economic situation, etc.), there is a profound thirst for love among the people.
Women and children are the first victims of these self-damaging human behaviours, because they
are vulnerable populations. As a result, depending on the rules, beliefs, and culture of any civilization, misogyny and male dominance over women and girls are more or less implicit in a community. Yet they are always there.
Whether in low- or high-income societies, teaching and discussing sex and gender can have a positive impact on women and girls’ self-esteem. It can improve their self-care and hence the practices of hygiene and sanitation these people implement for themeselves and their loved ones.
This is why sex education could become an important pillar of WASH policies.