Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. [Source: Wikipedia]. In the WASH sector, gender generally refers to (i) the identification of the felt needs and priorities of men and women; (ii) the gender-specific assessment of health, socio-economic and environmental aspects; (iii) the baseline on women’s living conditions and possible impact of interventions on women; (iv) the formulation of gender-specific project objectives and strategies [Source: Wijk-Sijbesma, C.A. van, 1995. Gender in community water supply, sanitation and water resource protection : a guide to methods and techniques. (Occasional paper series / IRC no. 23) The Hague, the Netherlands].
Equity is the moral imperative to dismantle unjust differences. It is based on principles of fairness and justice. In the context of water, sanitation and hygiene, equity, like equality, requires a focus on the most disadvantaged and the poorest. Many organisations in the sector have made equity a central part of their agenda; however, from a human rights perspective, relying on equity carries certain risks because it is a malleable concept that is not legally binding. [Source: De Albuquerque, C., 2014. Realizing the human rights to water and sanitation : a handbook. Booklet 9 : Sources. Glossary, bibliography and index. Geneva, Switzerland: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). P. 7]