Transgender-inclusive sanitation: insights from South Asia
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are based on the guiding principle to leave no one behind. This involves reaching "all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity", according to former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Transgender people are vulnerable and marginalised in many spheres, including in employment, housing, healthcare, and also provision of water and sanitation. For instance, "the use of public bathrooms, which are often sex-segregated, has been associated with exclusion" for transgender people, as the former Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation summarised.
To fulfil the ambition of SDG 6.2 (access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all), increased attention needs to be paid to this issue. This paper provides insights from some pioneering initiatives attempting to include transgender people in sanitation programming in South Asia, including three case studies from India and Nepal, and reflections and recommendations to guide future practice.