Is arsenic contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh a social development issue or a merely technical issue? Does it have gender implications? Based on findings from field research in Bangladesh, this report highlights the experiences of poor women and men whose lives have been affected by arsenic and explores how they are able to participate in arsenic mitigation. It looks at specific areas, including the gender division of labour and coping mechanisms, workload in relation to collecting water, distance to water sources, changes in water collection due to arsenic mitigation, and gender and community management. The author concludes that further research in this field is much needed to explore why there are such great gendered differences in awareness of and responses to arsenic and to consider how to ameliorate the situation. Better access to healthcare and health information also needs to be provided, alongside the more meaningful participation of women and men in water resource management and decision-making. This report is one of three reports funded by the Arsenic Policy Support Unit (APSU) of the Local Government Division, Ministry of Local Government, Government of Bangladesh.
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