Going to the toilet is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do in a refugee/IDP camp, due to the risk of sexual violence. This risk is particularly high at night time and lighting is often requested in order to combat this. This research hopes to provide evidence on the connection between lighting and GBV and inform efforts to make WASH facilities safer.
At the same time as conducting research we will respond to the needs identified by the communities we work with by distributing lighting solutions, ranging from torches to installations, dependent on need.
Research has suggested that GBV can increase due to poor public services, particularly a lack of privacy and security in latrine and bathing facilities (House et al, 2014). However, there is currently a gap in empirical evidence on the impact of latrine and bathing-facility lighting in reducing incidences of GBV in humanitarian camp contexts, increasing health indicators related to WASH, and contributing to user’s overall perception of dignity. Furthermore, there have been few attempts to compare the contribution of different lighting solutions in terms of usability, cost-effectiveness, user preference, and their respective impact in advancing these goals.
Research to improve humanitarian practice around lighting, GBV and WASH:
In 2018, Oxfam and the University of Loughborough, with funding from the HIF, carried out research on how and whether lighting affects risks of gender-based violence (GBV) in refugee camps in Nigeria, Iraq and Uganda. Read this project blog to find out more.View
Read Oxfam's publication highlighting their research on the difference that good lighting makes in refugee camps, particularly for women and girls.View
In Cox’s Bazaar, Oxfam advocates for all lighting initiatives to use a community-based approach. For the next phase of the project camps that are particularly prone to crime and attacks will be targeted.View
“I never went out at night time unless I really had to. I would never let my children out at night time. There were too many men taking drugs around the latrines, I would always worry about being attacked."View
Imagine going to the toilet was one of the most dangerous things you could do in a day. This is the situation for women living in refugee and IDP camps all over the world.View
Learn more about this WASH project, and many others, in our Humanitarian WASH Innovation Catalogue.
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